First they said cardiac arrest, now the medical community, friends and family alike say that long-term Drug Abuse is what led to Michael Jacksons untimely death

Florida – July 6, 2009 – With his drug abuse now public, fans on the street, family members and the media outlets alike are no longer speaking in hushed whispers about cardiac or respiratory arrest, but now rather that the iconic singer with the bizarre lifestyle was living in a deep and dark space addled by a drug cocktail of at least seven different prescription drugs. His death will most likely be shrouded in a swirl of massive controversy for the next three to six weeks when the autopsy report is expected. I spoke to Ira Levy, the Executive Director at Sunrise Detox, in Lake Worth, Florida. He had this to say: I hate to say it but Michael Jackson dying from an alleged drug overdose brings to the forefront of peoples consciousness and also, to the front page of newspapers how dangerous drug abuse actually is. Hopefully it will educate people and help them and their loved ones reach out for help. We have helped countless individuals and their families with drug abuse and alcoholism for years. The statistics are astounding. The latest results are sorely outdated but in 2002, an estimated 22 million Americans suffered from substance dependence or abuse due to drugs, alcohol or both, according to latest results of the Household Survey released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). There were 19.5 million Americans, 8.3 percent of the population ages 12 years or older, who currently used illicit drugs, 54 million who participated in binge drinking in the previous 30 days, and 15.9 million who were heavy drinkers. Today those statistics are estimated by the members of the National Institute on Drug Addiction (off the record) to have reached nearly 30 million Americans. Drug Abuse is that dirty little phrase that the United States government particularly under the Bush Administration that no one wanted to utter dont ask, dont tell. But, when Michael Jacksons alleged drug abuse, subsequently leading to his tragic death, hit the headlines, the government could no longer turn a blind eye and the non-profits finally gained some valuable ammunition to fight this deadly disease.

The legendary singer/songwriter/dancer extraordinaire was said to be healthy and was planning for a London tour – in fact one report even claimed that he would add some shows for his planned comeback to toss him atop the pop world again. But it begs the question: In light of his now widely publicized drug abuse, how could he even hope to achieve this kind of a comeback? A cocktail of up to 7 different types of prescription medications ranging from Oxycontin to Demerol to Zoloft to Xanax — would cripple a superstar in even the best of health. In March of this year, he was photographed pictured in pajamas in a wheelchair, his face hidden by a surgical mask. Does that appear to be a man set to embark on the most elaborate and grueling tour of his life or more likely a photo of a man addled by drug abuse and mental illness? He willingly took a cocktail of up to seven different prescription medications every day. He self-imposed a level of drug abuse that few survive and he did it year after year all the while his handlers selling stories to the tabloids that he was attending an Intensive Outpatient Program for two-hours a day. It was the tabloids at their worst and there were literally no takers. That type of drug abuse no one can hide not even with Mr. Jacksons wealth. .

Ira Levy, of Sunrise Detox, emphasizes that one of the key components of a successful Intervention is the willingness of the client to cooperate with the treatment plan that has been laid out. Over my years of reporting, I have spoken many times to The Jackson family lawyer, Brian Oxman. In a recent interview with CNN, Mr. Oxman alluded to the involvement of drugs in Mr. Jacksons death when he likened the pop stars death to that of tragic star Anna Nicole Smith also due to drug abuse.

He said to me today that the Jackson family had been trying for months and months and months to take care of Michael Jackson. And that his utter frustration and fear stemmed from The non-family members who had surrounded him [Michael Jackson] and that had been enabling him, particularly his agents, tour managers and private doctor alluding specifically to Dr. Conrad Murray.

It is always tragic when a man as talented as Michael Jackson, someone who touched so many hearts, dies in such an awfully sad and heartbreaking way. All we can do is pray that if you, yourself, or someone you know and love, is suffering from alcoholism and/or drug abuse, that you’ll pick up the phone and ask for help. There are many detox facilities and treatment centers out there just waiting for your call. Pick up that phone and safe someone’s life. Do it today.

— by Kate Bohner

Sunrise Detox, Lake Worth, Fl