TV actresses get suspended jail terms for drug abuse
SEOUL, Nov. 25 (Yonhap) -- Three female celebrities, including top TV actress Park Si-yeon, received suspended prison terms Monday for illegally taking the psychotropic drug propofol.
The Seoul Central District Court sentenced Park and two others -- Jang Mi-inae and Lee Seung-yeun -- to eights months in prison, suspended for two years, for taking the prescription drug for reasons other than its intended purpose.
The actresses were found guilty of receiving unnecessary treatments at several plastic surgery and dermatology hospitals located at the posh Gangnam district of Seoul to get the drug, which is commonly used during routine surgeries.
"The defendants frequently administered propofol once or twice a week, long before propofol was classified as a psychotropic drug," Senior Judge Sung Soo-je said in his ruling. "The court deems that they were already addicted to the drug."
The court also ordered the three to each pay a fine ranging from 3.7 million won (US$3,500) to 5.5 million won.
U.S. pop star Michael Jackson died after overdosing propofol, a powerful anesthetic commonly used during routine surgeries.
Experts say propofol abuse is growing because unlike other hospital sedatives, it is quick-acting and rapidly leaves the system. It is also known as a "milk injection" because the drug has a milky color.
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