Benzodiazepines and the Conrad Murray Trial

The trial of the physician charged with the involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson, Dr Conrad Murray, has just started. The whole tragic story of Michael Jackson’s chemical dependency, his addictions, will undoubtedly be aired by the defendant’s lawyers. Expect wall-to-wall television coverage. But out of this tragedy there may just be one silver lining, potential dangers of prescription drugs will be aired nightly. Much of the trial will undoubtedly focus on propofol, but on the day Michael Jackson died he also took multiple doses of the benzodiazepines diazepam (Valium), midazolam and lorazepam (Ativan) as sedatives.  Other such valium analogs that are widely used as prescription drugs are the benzodiazepines clonazapam (Klonopin), alprazolam (Xanax) and temazepam (Restoril) . Benzodiazepines are some of the most widely prescribed anxiolytics, or anti-anxiety drugs, in the United States. I do not doubt that they have legitimate uses. But I also do not doubt that they are grossly over-prescribed. They are highly addictive, can have debilitating side effects and be extremely dangerous as part of a cocktail, be it with other drugs or alcohol. Raising public awareness of their potential danger can only be for the public good, and spare us additional victims. Ironically, expect the ads for psycho-active drugs to keep airing during commercial breaks.

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3 Responses to “Benzodiazepines and the Conrad Murray Trial”

  1. Mark Says:

    Why didn’t Dr Murray have the drug Narcan availabe?!?

    • hydraargyrum Says:

      Given what has subsequently been reported, I hope this is covered in the trial. Especially with what has been said about Demerol use in addition to the benzodiazepines. I don’t believe it would have helped with the propofol alone though. Very, very sad.

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