In light of the continuing controversy surrounding Whitney Houston's death, here is a look at the science behind the central and often misunderstood concept of self-medication in addiction and recovery. My interest in this is personal. My sister Rita died of a multiple drug cocktail at age 38.
Plans for the manufacture and sale of hydrocodone pills five to 10 times more potent than is now available is a warning sign of an escalation of what we might call the "prescription opiate arms race" among pharmaceutical companies.
Women today face more responsibilities than ever before. For this reason, more and more women are turning to sleep medication -- or as the New York Times dubbed it in a recent article, "Mother's New Little Helper."
The multi-talented and charismatic performer may be gone, to live on in a digitally-recorded afterlife, but I suspect that we'll soon learn that the death of Michael Jackson the man was caused in large part by his addiction to prescription medication.