Actor Corey Haim obtained more than 550 prescription pills illegally from numerous doctors in the months before his death, California Attorney General Jerry Brown said Tuesday.
Haim obtained prescriptions from seven different doctors who claim they were duped into writing scripts for the troubled actor. Brown said the late actor was a "poster child" for prescription drug abuse and had been "doctor shopping" for pills. The drugs included Valium and Xanax and Vicodin, according to Brown.
"It is important for people to understand that legal, prescribed drugs can be just as dangerous as street drugs," Brown said at a press conference today.
Haim had been working to get clean from prescription drugs in the weeks before he died, according to his agent, but his plea for help may have been no match for the dozens of prescriptions he had allegedly obtained from a cadre of doctors and other sources.
Haim was found dead in his mother's apartment March 10. According to People Magazine, Haim's mother told the Los Angeles Coroner that her son suffered pulmonary congestion. In an interview with Access Hollywood, Judy Haim said that the autopsy also found he had an enlarged heart along with the water in the lungs.
Haim's agent said his client had been working on his addiction problems with a doctor and that Haim told him two weeks before he died that he was drug-free.
But the agent also said Haim's mother told him that an addiction specialist treating her son had given him four drugs and, she believed, a reaction to the medications may have caused his death.
The prescriptions found in Haim's name in his mother's apartment contained serious drugs, Brown said. And Haim's name came up on multiple prescriptions in the state's system.
Tiffany Shepis, a close friend of Haim's, told "Good Morning America" that she made the choice to distance herself from him and his addiction. She last saw him about eight months ago and said he looked good and had gained some weight.
"Corey only ever hurt himself," she said. "He never lied about his addiction problem."
Shepis said Haim's penchant for prescriptions was no secret.
Haim, at one point, was taking as many as three dozen pills a day, getting the drugs from "regular doctors, hospitals, urgent care places," she said.
"I think it's fairly easy to get whatever you want, especially when you're an actor."
California AG.: Prescription Drug Abuse 'Serious Health Problem'
The 38-year-old actor rose to stardom in the 1980s in movies such as "Lucas" and "Lost Boys."
Dr. Joshua Prager, a California pain management specialist, said he has been approached several times by celebrities looking for prescription narcotics.
"Many celebrities feel entitled," he said. "I have celebs referred to me and they tell me what I will be prescribing. In the U.S., we have an epidemic of prescription drug abuse and celebrities are a reflection of what's happening in the rest of society."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.