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AG: Corey Haim was 'poster child for doctor shopping'

By Alan Duke, CNN
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Corey Haim obtained 553 drugs in last year of his life, AG says
  • Attorney General Jerry Brown calls Haim the 'poster child' for doctor-shopping
  • Coroner has not yet ruled on what killed Haim, 38, who died last month
  • Former child actor battled drug addiction for decades
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Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- Actor Corey Haim was the "poster child" for the problem of addicts "doctor shopping" for dangerous drugs, California's top law enforcement official said Tuesday.

Investigators found that the former child actor was supplied with prescriptions for five controlled substances by seven doctors in the last 10 weeks of his life, Attorney General Jerry Brown said.

"Corey Haim actually obtained 553 dangerous drugs in just this year, as late as five days before he died," Brown told reporters at a news conference in Los Angeles.

The drugs included Vicodin, Valium, Soma, Oxycontin and Xanax, Brown said.

The coroner has not yet ruled on what killed Haim, 38, who died last month after collapsing at the Los Angeles apartment he shared with his mother.

Toxicology lab results are expected to be available this month for Haim, who battled drug addiction for decades.

Haim visited several emergency rooms and urgent care clinics with complaints of an injured shoulder or depression issues, according to Sara Simpson, head of the state task force investigating doctor shopping.

Los Angeles County Deputy Coroner Ed Winter revealed last month that Haim obtained drugs using prescriptions written under the names of 20 Los Angeles doctors in the past year. The coroner subpoenaed medical records from those doctors.

Haim also obtained at least one prescription of Oxycontin through the use of an illegally obtained prescription pad, Brown said.

State agents arrested one person last month in connection with what Brown said was a massive drug ring that obtained and sold the counterfeit doctor's pads.

Although Haim battled drug addiction for decades, his manager said his death came when Haim "was making major progress" with a program to wean him from pills.

Still, Haim sometimes threatened to find other doctors to prescribe him drugs when his primary physician wouldn't give him what he wanted, manager Mark Heaslip said Monday.

"I would be the only one who could talk him out of it," Heaslip said Monday night.

His doctor was providing pills only in one-day supplies in an effort to wean him, Heaslip said.

Haim's primary care doctor would constantly follow up with urgent care centers that he believed were writing prescriptions for Haim, Heaslip said. The doctor later gave the information to investigators, he said.

Simpson confirmed to CNN that Haim's doctor was helping investigators.

Haim had a prescription for the muscle relaxer Soma and the narcotic pain reliever Norco filled at a pharmacy February 26, a source with knowledge of the transaction told CNN. Two days after Haim picked up the drugs, his primary care doctor called the San Fernando Valley pharmacy to ask about the prescriptions, the source said.

An autopsy revealed that Haim suffered from pneumonia, an enlarged heart and water in his lungs when he collapsed March 10, Winter said.

Heaslip said he and Haim's family are convinced his death was not from a drug overdose, but was perhaps a bad reaction to a single pill he took in the hours before his death.

The pills, prescribed by an addiction specialist, came with a warning that they should not be taken by someone with a heart condition or flulike symptoms, both of which Haim had, Heaslip said.

"This kid was making major progress," Heaslip said.

His manager said that if Haim was cheating on his addiction program, he would probably not have admitted it to him since he would have dropped Haim as a client.

Haim began his acting career in 1982, with his first television appearance on the Canadian series "The Edison Twins." His first film role was in the 1984 American movie "First Born."

Haim also won rave reviews for his title role in the 1986 film "Lucas." Film critic Roger Ebert said of him at the time, "If he continues to act this well, he will never become a half-forgotten child star, but will continue to grow into an important actor."

His most famous role was in the 1987 movie "The Lost Boys," in which Haim played a fresh-faced teenager whose brother becomes a vampire.

In recent years, the actor was reunited with longtime friend and frequent co-star Corey Feldman in a reality show. "The Two Coreys" ran for two seasons on the A&E Network before it was canceled.

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