Most people know that it is as possible to die from an overdose of prescription drugs as it is to die from an overdose of heroin or other illicit drug. What some people may not realize it that in some cases, it might not even be the fault of the person who died from the drugs. Some people might die from the actions of those who are supposed to be taking care of them.
As an example, let us look at the death of Anna Nicole Smith. Anna Nicole’s death was ruled an accidental drug intoxication death contributed to by a viral infection and the presence of abscesses on both buttocks and the back of one thigh. There is no evidence of intent to cause Ms. Smith’s death, however, it may be that without the help of those around her, she could not possibly have died.
Her psychiatrist and her companion Howard K. Stern obtained prescriptions under an alias or in Stern’s name as a way of “protecting (Anna Nicole’s) privacy.” Khristine Eroshevich, Smith’s psychiatrist, reported that she began to treat Ms. Smith for depression and chronic pain after the birth of her child and the death of her son Daniel in September 2006.
The autopsy reports on several abscesses on both buttocks resulting from repeated injections of various medications in the buttocks and the back of the right thigh. Ms. Smith’s liver was also congested and enlarged and her kidneys were congested, very possibly as a result of chronic administration of prescription medications. The drug that may have tipped the scales toward her death was chloral hydrate, a strong sleeping drug usually administered in a liquid.
Did Ms. Smith have repeatedly inject herself in the buttock and the back of her right thigh or was she assisted by her companion Stern or her psychiatrist, who visited her several times in the Bahamas where Ms. Smith died in February 2007?
In September 2006, Dr. Eroshevich attempted to obtain a list of six prescription medications, all of which had the potential to be addictive. One of them, Prexige, was never approved for use in the United States as it was shown to cause an unacceptable level of liver damage (remember Anna Nicole’s enlarged and congested liver?). The doctor she asked to obtain the drugs for her, Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, also charged with felonies, refused to fill those prescriptions.
The California Attorney General Jerry Brown has stated that “these individuals repeatedly and excessively furnished thousands of prescription pills to Anna Nicole Smith, often for no legitimate medical purpose.” He also stated, “(Smith) took the drugs almost to the point of stupefication.”
Could a “stupefied” person obtain and administer enough drugs to finally accidentally kill herself? Would it not be the responsibility of the medical staff around her and her constant companion to get her treatment for chronic drug use and addiction?
“Anna Nicole’s situation is one of the tragic extremes of prescription drug abuse,” stated Derry Hallmark, stated Derry Hallmark, Director of Admissions and Certified Chemical Dependency Counselor at Narconon Arrowhead. Narconon Arrowhead is one of the country’s leading drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, located in Canadian, Oklahoma.
“Sometimes families don’t know the best way to help someone who insists on abusing prescription drugs,” Mr. Hallmark added. “I assure you that the best way to help someone who is addicted to these drugs is to get them into an effective rehabilitation service like the one we have at Narconon Arrowhead. With a program like ours that helps them recover from the constant cravings and that rehabilitates their ability to make drug-free decisions, most people can recover from their addiction. At Narconon, seven out of ten of our graduates go on to live drug-free lives. This could be the difference between living and dying for some people.”
To find immediate help for someone who is having a problem with any kind of drug or alcohol, contact Narconon’s free addiction consultation and referral helpline at 1-800-468-6933 or visit their website at http://www.stopaddiction.com/. The Narconon program was founded in 1966 by William Benitez in Arizona State prison, and is based on the humanitarian works of L. Ron Hubbard. In more than 120 centers around the world, Narconon programs restore drug and alcohol abusers and addicts to a clean and sober lifestyle.