LOS ANGELES – A pain-management doctor testified Wednesday that Anna Nicole Smith was not a drug addict, rebuffing a prosecutor who suggested the model's prescriptions for 1,500 pills in a single month amounted to an addiction.
"It speaks to potential danger and risk to the patient, but it doesn't speak to addiction," Dr. Perry G. Fine told jurors in Smith's drug conspiracy trial.
Fine, who testified as a defense witness, said the risk might be toxicity if she took all of the drugs, but added that Smith's medical records showed "no indication of actual harm."
The definition of an addict is central to the case against Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, Dr. Khristine Eroshevich and Howard K. Stern, who are accused of providing drugs to an addict. They are not charged in causing Smith's drug overdose death.
Stern, who was the late celebrity model's boyfriend, and Smith's two doctors, Kapoor and Eroshevich, have pleaded not guilty.
Fine said he believed Smith had a high tolerance for drugs but was not addicted. He said medical records showed Smith had suffered fractured ribs and was seeking relief from chronic pain.
"She woke up and functioned from day to day," Fine said. "... She was in recovery from rib fractures, and anyone's function would be highly limited."
Deputy District Attorney David Barkhurst had asked Fine whether Smith's prescriptions of 1,500 drug tablets in June 2004 might help determine if Smith was an addict.
Fine agreed with Superior Court Judge Robert Perry that the 1,500 pills cited were "a lot of drugs," but said it was "antiquated thinking" to equate the number of pills with addiction. The pills included various opiates, muscle relaxants and other drugs.
"The disease of addiction is viewed as largely present in genetic factors, and it takes social and environmental factors to bring it out," he said.
Fine said a typical addict would be driven to compulsive drug use to seek a sense of euphoria, but that he reviewed many records of Smith's medical treatment and saw no mention of her seeking euphoria. He said he saw many reports of her seeking relief from pain.