Mystery Surrounding Pop Icon's Sudden Death

HealthMedicineDeathCelebritiesPharmaceutical IndustryMichael Jackson

As California investigators search for answers in the mysterious death of pop icon, Michael Jackson -- pain management experts say anyone, celebrities included, can easily and quickly become sucked into a dangerous cycle of using and sometimes over using prescription drugs.

39-year old Plano computer technician, Corey Goode uses the prescription drug, Vicadin to ease the pain of a slew of old football injuries. He says he follows all the rules, but sees how someone might get out of control. "You just hear the horror stories", says Goode who adds that he has faith that his doctors will monitor his use of the narcotic pain killler.

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It's still unclear if it was a deadly mix of prescription drugs that took the life of the pop star, but a former attorney for Jackson says he was "over medicated" and feared the singer could be headed for danger. Some reports indicate Jackson was taking a potent narcotic, Demerol for dancing injuries and may have also been taking drugs for anxiety.

President and CEO of American Pain and Wellness, Dr. Johnny White, says he sees it all time, people who quickly get caught up in a dangerous cycle of popping too many pills. "When people take these medications then they sometimes start adding other things that the doctor doesn't know about and it can have bad effects", says White.

If Jackson's sudden death is linked to a fatal prescription drug cocktail he wouldn't be the first celebrity to fall prey. Actor Heath Ledger overdosed on a mix of prescription pills, as did Texas native, Anna Nicole Smith. Experts say a celebrity death can often be a wake up call for others taking similar medications. "When these things happen we take a step back", says Dr. Shiv Sharma, a professor at UT Southwestern in Dallas. "This shows there can be adverse effects if these medications aren't taken properly".

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