AS I SEE IT
by: Bob Magee
The endless lunatic newsreel runs on again....
They never learn. They never, ever learn.
The August 28th Indianapolis Star-News contains an article about Dr. Joel Hackett who has had his medical license suspended after The Indiana State Medical Licensing Board charged that he illegally prescribed controlled substances for years to professional wrestlers, reportedly from the World Wrestling Federation. He also did so without Federal authorization to prescribe controlled substances.
In the Star-News article it said "...he [Hackett] gave up that authorization last year, the attorney general's office said, after a State Police investigation found that he illegally prescribed controlled substances to at least 11 professional wrestlers during a six-year period, telephoning prescriptions to at least eight states and Canada."
Further the article states that Hackett is charged with:
"(failing to) perform 'adequate medical examinations or diagnostic procedures before giving wrestlers controlled- substance prescriptions and refills....
...failing to document the medical necessity for prescribing the drugs to wrestlers.
...Continuing to prescribe controlled substances to one professional wrestler despite knowing 'that the patient was illegally distributing the medication.'
...Continuing to prescribe the drugs to wrestlers he knew were addicted to the medicine.
...Providing steroids, including testosterone, to at least three professional wrestlers without demonstrating medical need."
WWF officials state they were aware of Dr. Hackett, and that he has been prohibited from being backstage at WWF events as far back as 1995, due to his actions.
So it continues...
Each and every time a wrestler dies due to the effects of drug use, people write editorials and decry drug use. Yet Vince McMahon, Eric Bischoff, and Paul Heyman have YET to enact a comprehensive drug testing and rehabilitation policy.
Seems like it's necessary AGAIN to start listing the names...here's just a few as a reminder:
David (Von Erich) Adkisson, who died in February 1984 from an accidental Placidyl overdose while touring Japan.
Kerry (Von Erich) Adkisson, who committed suicide near the Adkisson family home in February 1993 while awaiting jail for forging prescriptions.
Art Barr, the greatest American born luchador ever, who died in November 1994 in his sleep from mixing alcohol and painkillers at age 29.
Eddie Gilbert, who died of a heart attack in February 1995 in Puerto Rico. Much as I each year publicize the Gilbert Memorial each year, and will continue to do so... it's important to also mention that Eddie was very human and had a problem with using prescription painkillers.
Brian Pillman died in a lonely hotel room in October 1997, hours before he was to be part of a nationally televised PPV event. Again, the cause of death was officially a "heart attack". In reality, the years of using steroids and use of prescription pain killers after his ankle was broken in a Hummer accident had more than a little to do with it.
Louie Spicolli died on February 15, 1998 from an overdose of somas (muscle relaxers). As I've told the story before in this column, he was addicted to somas even while in ECW, to the point that he could barely walk into the TraveLodge after each ECW Arena show.
Rick Rude died in April of this year from the effects of GHB, also known as liquid Ecstasy, one of the date-rape drugs...
Then there's the people who have survived...so far. In past PWBTS AS I SEE IT columns, I've mentioned Tommy (Dreamer) Loughlin's painkiller use, something he admitted to publicly at a ECW CyberSlam Q&A after Louie Spicolli's death. Thank God, he's gotten himself clean. ECW needs him, even if only to have one person in their management with a conscience.
Then there's the recent situation of Brian James (Armstrong), better known as the WWF's Road Dogg, who had the good sense to pull himself off the road for awhile, because he felt himself becoming addicted to somas prescribed for an in-ring injury. He did so until he felt right.
Or there's the other time that I reported on in a previous AS I SEE IT... regarding an ECW worker who was handing out percosets at the door of the Stadium Holiday Inn hotel bar like they were candy. Since he's publicly admitted to his problem, I can mention that the person I was referring to was Axl Rotten. Axl's getting himself clean. Thank God for that, too. Lots of people would miss his hilarious Dusty Rhodes impressions.
But then there are the other cases. Like the one with the independent wrestler, known for drug use who came up to a person working a ticket counter at a small indy show. She had some sort of stomach medicine she was taking.
The wrestler came out of the locker room, looked at her taking the pills...and said to her "What do those do to you?".
Those of us standing there were uncomfortably silent. Even he stopped and took a step back and realized just what he'd said.
Too many wrestlers think they're immortal. They think they can use painkillers to ease the pain of working night after night...or use various growth-enhancing substances to get big and stay big....or any one of a dozen other drugs... and think that nothing will happen to them. It's always someone else it happens to.
And there's always some unscrupulous bastard who will help feed their addictions for a price. Just because they wear white coats doesn't mean they aren't drug pushers.
Then there's the even MORE unscrupulous bastards who run wrestling promotions, KNOW about these glorified drug pushers, KNOW about these performers, KNOW about the physical and emotional pain they feel from working in the ring and traveling out of it...and don't do a damned thing about the drug use that results, or attempt to help them get themselves clean.
Hell, in the case of Scott Hall, they even made an damned ANGLE about it....
Let's face it, they don't want to slow down the money-making machine that's in overdrive these days by making a major name sit out a PPV or a primetime TV program.
So with the Indianapolis Star-News article...and we know certainly we haven't heard the end of this story...the endless lunatic newsreel runs on again....and we wait until another name... a friend, a father (or mother), a co-worker...has their name added to that all too long, ever-sadder list of names who've left this world far too soon and far too unnecessarily.
Until next time.....
If you have comments or questions, I can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org