Geraldo Rivera is a national television show personality. His audience is substantial, and I’d like to to share my sister’s story with as many individuals as possible. Our mission continues to be making Laura’s memory matter.

Dear Geraldo,

You have an opportunity in your extensive reporting of Michael Jackson’s death to broaden the context with a powerful lifesaving teaching moment. You have suggested Michael Jackson’s inner circle doctors, pharmacists, etc. were enablers, some of whom may even be charged with manslaughter. What about Mr. Jackson’s and every other American’s responsibility to manage one’s health proactively? We are an addicted nation. Americans are 4% of the world population and we consume 2/3 of the world’s illegal drugs (Joseph A. Califano Jr., High Society). Americans, especially teenagers, abuse legal prescription drugs routinely. 25% of our nation’s college youth either abuse or are considered clinically addicted to alcohol. 100,000 Americans die yearly from the injurious health-related effects of alcohol and/or drugs. Another 400,000 die if smokers are included. Please interview Joseph A Califano Jr.

Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, etc. are symptoms of an addicted society. What if we as a nation could free ourselves, one individual at a time, from addiction? For starters, we would save massive numbers of lives and health care dollars.

My sister Laura died at 46 from her addiction to alcohol. At we celebrate her memory with our Sobriety Anniversary Page. Please have your producers check out the 13 articles on our Laura’s Story webpage. Laura had been clean for her last 6 months, but it was too late. 200 participants have documented a collective 2600 years of sober living, and for these brave souls it’s not too late. 43 youngsters have pledged to simply follow the law and not mess with alcohol or drugs before their 21st birthdays. For them it’s not too late. Michael Jackson’s legacy could be more than the King of Pop. It could also, with broader reporting, help our nation to look honestly at every man and woman in the addictive mirror and allow for healing.

Sincerely, Brad Mersereau