Latest Issue

The information

America's prescription drug epidemic

By prospect   August 2009

Michael Jackson’s death was a “wake-up call to the nation” about prescription drugs, according to US drug czar Gil Kerlikowske, after reports linked the singer’s death with his use of Demerol, Methadone, and the anti-anxiety drug Xanax. Following Heath Ledger’s death in January 2008 from a similarly exotic mix of painkillers, Jackson’s demise was explained in media reports as part of a sharply rising trend in US prescription drug abuse. But the trend, which was startling in the 1990s, has now flattened out. According to research from America’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health America, huge increases in non-medical…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect