Trial Latest: Michael Jackson was hooked on painkillers

Michael Jackson was hooked on painkillers, jury told, given by the same dermatologist who gave him Botox injections to the groin

Michael Jackson was hooked on painkiller drugs in the months leading up to his death, jurors heard today.

The singer was given regular treatments with wrinkle filler drugs like Botox and Restylane by a Beverly Hills dermatologist.

At the same time he was injected with ‘very high doses’ of Demerol pain medication, addiction expert Dr Robert Waldman told Los Angeles Superior Court.

In one three day period between April 21 to April 23 in 2009, the singer was treated with 775 milligrams of the drug even though Dr Waldman testified there was no reason Jackson needed Demerol while having Botox or other skin treatments.

‘I believe there is evidence that Michael Jackson was dependent on Demerol and was possibly addicted,’ said Dr Waldman.

‘My opinion is that with what is known about his public behaviour and this course of treatment, Michael Jackson was probably addicted to opioids.

Six weeks of very frequent high doses would lead to dependency in any of us,’ he added.

The defence expert was basing his testimony on medical records provided to the court by Jackson’s dermatologist Dr Arnold Klein, who has not given evidence at the trial.

Jurors saw records detailing 18 visits Jackson – using the alias of Omar Arnold – made to Dr Klein for treatment between April and June in 2009.

Dr Klein also treated Jackson to reduce ‘excessive perspiration’ by injecting Botox into his groin and armpits.

The last visit was just three days before Jackson died from a deadly dose of the hospital anaesthetic Propofol on June 25, 2009.

Jackson’s private doctor Conrad Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Murray, 58, has admitted administering the powerful drug to help the star get to sleep.

‘Insomnia is a very common complaint’ in patients withdrawing from drugs like Demerol, Dr Waldman told the court.

The doses of Demerol administered to Jackson increased through April and May to 300 milligrams a visit and dropped back down to 100 milligrams a time by the middle of June.

Jurors heard from Jackson’s security staff that the singer appeared ‘tipsy’ when he left Dr Klein’s office and was drowsy and unfocused during rehearsals for his London comeback.

Dr Waldman, who works with addicts in Los Angeles, said he has treated celebrities and professional sportsmen in the past.

He said withdrawals from Demerol also caused sweating, an increased heart rate, bone and muscle pain, chills, nausea, anxiety and severe restlessness.

The addiction specialist is the second last witness for the defence.

The case continues.