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Experts Discuss Whether or Not Michael Jackson was Addicted to Drugs on the Stand

The trial for Dr. Conrad Murray, personal physician to Michael Jackson, and the inquiry into whether or not he knew Michael Jackson to be drug dependent has everyone tuned in. The basic question on the table is this: if Dr. Conrad Murray did not believe that he was feeding Michael Jackson’s addiction to narcotics, should he have? His legal team maintains that Jackson was doctor shopping in order to feed his addiction and that the drugs he used were received from multiple sources. The prosecution says that a lack of knowledge of the issues his patient was struggling with is not a defense but rather would constitute negligence on the part of Dr. Murray; they’re looking to bring forth evidence and experts who can say that any trained professional in the medical field should have identified and treated Jackson’s obvious addiction rather than feed it with more drugs.

Dr. Robert Waldman is a drug addiction specialist and took the stand recently. However, he could not state firmly that Jackson was addicted to narcotics – even though evidence has shown that the singer received large and regular doses of both Demerol, a narcotic painkiller, and Botox over the months before the died.

Said Dr. Waldman: “I believe there is evidence that he was dependent on Demerol.”

He went on to say that it was a possibility that Jackson was dependent on the painkiller but was unable to state that as a fact without doubt.

Jackson overdosed on propofol and though Dr. Murray admits to giving him daily doses of the drug in order to help the pop star win an ongoing battle with insomnia, he denies giving him the fatal dose the night of his death.

The defining difference between drug dependence and drug addiction is a crucial point in this case. Though it is clear that Jackson was physically dependent upon narcotics due to his daily use of the drugs, whether or not he was addicted is the big question. Addiction is defined by the patient’s self-destructive choices made with the sole function of furthering the addiction no matter what the consequences.

Dr. Murray is charged with manslaughter and could be sentenced with four years in prison if he is found guilty of the crime. He has pleaded not guilty.

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