In the past few weeks, I have been interviewed by the media about the tragic death of Michael Jackson. Mr. Jackson's untimely death was an opportunity to educate people about the dangers of prescription drug use gone horribly wrong. Here was a brilliantly talented individual who brought so much joy to peoples' lives. True, he was human, and like all of us had his share of issues - but what a teaching moment his death offered. My career has spanned some 30 odd years and it still amazes me how people can destroy their lives in what is usually an innocent initial moment. As I sit in my home in Connecticut and contemplate the Long Island Sound, I wonder why we cannot all just take more time to be still. Why can't we breathe and try to get "high" on the wonders of our respective worlds. Don't get me wrong, I am clinician and researcher and fully understand the biopsychosocial aspects of addiction - the human need to change our mood abruptly - as I have said many times; we have become the microwave generation and "want what we want when we want it." Perhaps Mr. Jackson's death drew so many of us to the media because on some very strange level he wasn't an oddity but just another human being!

About the Author

Harris Stratyner, Ph.D., CASAC

Harris Stratyner, Ph.D., CASAC, is a Clinical Associate Professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine; he is also with Caron Treatment Centers.

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