Park Shi Yeon and Other K-actresses Indicted for Propofol Abuse

With the Park Shi Hoo rape investigation dominating the entertainment headlines in Korea, and for good reason since its like a circus freakshow crossed with a very badly written makjang weekend drama mixed with a CSI rip-off, yet another really alarming police investigation and scandal has reached an apex this week. Since early February police in Seoul have been investigating actresses Park Shi Yeon, Lee Seung Yeon, Hyun Young, and Jang Mi In Ae for propofol abuse. All four actresses immediately asserted that they were administered propofol only in connection with undergoing plastic surgery and other cosmetic procedures at clinics in Gangnam. After investigating for the past month, the Seoul prosecutor’s office announced this week that they were filing indictments against two doctors and a nurse for administering propofol unnecessarily to patients, and will also be charging Park Shi Yeon and Lee Seung Yeon with propofol abuse. Apparently Park Shi Yeon was administered propofol over 185 times (!) between November 2011 and December 2012 (she claimed it was for carboxy therapy), while Lee Seung Yeon was hitting up that stuff 111 times during the same time period (ostensibly when she got Botox injections). Lesser users Jang Mi In Ae (95 times) and Hyun Young (42 times) will only be fined for this willful violation of the law on recreational drug use. For those unclear what exactly these actresses were getting, propofol is a short-acting intravenously administered hypnotic drug. It is the drug of choice at hospitals to put patients under for surgery, used for induction and maintenance of anesthesia. Risk for addiction to propofol runs high since it puts the user in a trance-like state and blocks out the world, thereby reducing anxiety. Michael Jackson died from side-affects from repeatedly abusing propofol. Some reactions to propofol include mild euphoria, hallucinations, and disinhibition, and repeated use can quickly lead to an addiction to the high it gives the patient. Recent studies have shown that there is a preponderance of propofol addicts who turn out to be suffering from past trauma and are using it to disassociate from their pain, and may even have initially started using because they suffered insomnia and propofol puts people to sleep.

This is only the tip of the iceberg, people. There have been numerous media reports over the years regarding the extensive abuse of propofol in the Korean entertainment industry as the drug of choice by entertainers as a way to deal with their punishing work schedules and difficult career bumps. Chances are these four ladies, all well-known to be plastic surgery addicts, got hooked on propofol when they did encounter it initially when getting legit plastic surgery, and later found enablers to keep them hooked up to the milk shot (propofol is administered in a white liquid form). With the Korean criminal justice system, I don’t know if Park Shi Yeon or Lee Seung Yeon will serve any time, but I’m more worried knowing the sheer quantity of this psychotropic drug they have been taking in. It’s too early to say whether all four ladies’ careers are over, but I do think the sexist double standard in the Korean entertainment industry will make it harder for them to mount a comeback than if they were popular male stars caught doing the same (or worse) behavior. I worry for their health the most as there is a startling high percentage of propofol abusers who die from the high or from incorrectly administering the dosage. This is just depressing news to digest.


Park Shi Yeon and Other K-actresses Indicted for Propofol Abuse — 36 Comments

  1. This is insane! But unfortunately – and yes I say unfortunately – probably none of them will have to bear the consequences. But seriously… 185 times!? And PSY is talking about it as if it’s normal? To me this is crazy and abnormal…

  2. I wondered why Park Shi Yeon sometimes looked a little spacey in her dramas. I hope she gets some help. Do they have good drug treatment centres in Korea?

  3. FYI, most people use it to sleep not to get high. Even if you sleep for only 3 hours on a crampy couch you wake up feeling refreshed like you got a full 8 hours on fluffy clouds. For people in entertainment with crazy schedules who still need to look good on little sleep, the temptation to go this route must be high

    • i cnt fully blame them aswell.. u dont knw wat goes on in their lives .. n i always felt PSY had some sort of tragedy from the beginning .. her eyes .. it just holds alot of pain!!.. anyhow.. hope they go to rehab.. n change!! god bless.. i say for once they seriously need to stop these LIVE shoots.. its ruining alot of good talents!

  4. If these actresses are addicted to propofol, I feel sorry for them. It’s horrible to be addicted to drugs. Sure you can earn a lot of money in the entertainment industry, but as we’ve seen with celeb scandals, unfortunately everything has its price.

  5. I wonder what kind of effects Propofol might have on a fetus. Isn’t Park Shi Yeon pregnant? I sure hope she stopped using it when she found out she was going to have a baby!

    • Is she?! I haven’t heard any official new reports so I thought those were only rumors, especially since she has done a number of photoshoots since NG looking…not so pregnant(?)

  6. Now why is the entertainment world of my choice crumbling

    its said that they are addiccte to this stuff that killed Michael Jackson
    so how how hard is this life they have

    it must be stressful since some end up killing themselves

  7. The dark side of K entertainment world that I am now discovering over the last few years. The price of Hallyu that the K govt is pushing is too high on these young actors. I am also beginning to dislike what Hallyu is doing to the rest of Asia. Hallyu is looking more and more shallow, hollow and materialistic.

  8. I know that actor in the white one shoulder gown. I think she was in the My wife is a gangstar and in another film with Lee Dong Wook. She was so funny and exuberant but look at her face now. It’s completely frozen. Same with LDH. These girls were beautiful to start with ….Why would they do this and look like wax figures from Madame Tussauds? So much pressure to look and be a certain way. Before I got into K entertainment world….I had never heard of V jawline, X body shape …..and other nonsense.

  9. Didn’t they know how dangerous propofol was considering how MJ died? I’m disappointed but I can’t say I blame them using it to sleep during their hectic schedules.

  10. This is terrible but strangely unsurprising news. I do not envy the lives of these people who go under the knife to achieve what is considered a beautiful look and who are overworked beyond belief. Will the system ever change? The way that actors and others in the entertainment industry (including staff, managers, etc.) are treated is simply appalling and disgusting!

    It is also amazing how the public (and I am not discounting myself at times)looks up to these people as representing the new standard of beauty. Young people are made to feel ugly because they can not compare to these unrealistic standards. These actors shave their jaws, get implants, have eye surgery, etc. I am not criticizing people who elect to get plastic surgery for whatever reason (who am I to judge?) but I am just commenting upon what is an alarming trend.

  11. Yes, this is sad and infuriating since the SK entertainers are required to have PS in the first place to uphold their unnatural beauty standards. Catch-22 for the ladies thought who are caught in this web lies thinking everything about their lives will be rosy/HEA.

  12. Are nose jobs and maxillofacial surgery so common in the industry? I remember seeing many childhood photos of actresses and noticing that almost every one had a nose job to make their noses higher. I can’t imagine the amount of pressure that the average Korean female has to go through in terms of being confronted with artificially created beauty on a daily basis.

  13. Whoa!
    The tip of the iceberg is right.
    If we simply go by the numbers for drug use, there should be a fair percentage of entertainers who are addicted to something.

    It appears that the fear of getting caught is way worse than consequences of the addiction itself.

    That’s a little upside down, ain’t it? What we have here are have patients who are abusing substances to deal with pain, stress, etc, and who feel like they cannot function without these drugs. They really do need to address the root problem. Then pour on the legal troubles and public shaming to uphill climb of battling their own demons. I hope these ladies get help.

  14. Hopefully this ends up saving their lives and the lives of others not yet caught, but still abusing. I only really know Park Shi Yeon and enjoy her work. These women might get punished, but they aren’t the problem. I can’t help but blame the doctors more so than the addicts and the whole K-entertainment industry as a whole for things like this. Depressing news, but seriously not surprising.

  15. Sad but unsurprising. Tip of the iceberg indeed as the Drug Investigation Unit of Seoul Metropolitan Police Department still is in the process of charging other celebrities, besides kpop groupe DMTN’s Choi Daniel and “Chit Chat of Beautiful Ladies” cast member Bianca Mobley for saling/distributing/smoking marijuana.

  16. O man Park Shi Yeon?! I do feel a twinge of disappointment but also really bad for her….she was just beginning to make her mark too… with her somewhat recent marriage and everything, I wonder how much stress she has been under lately….this could make things really bad for her

  17. The pressure of a celebrity is off the roof, especially for women. The stuff behind the scenes is worst. Behind the glamor is darkness which explains suicides, depression, drugs, scandals and prostitution. SK is a plastic surgery capital and kids get it as a birthday president. Parents are sending the wrong signals. Do they tell their kids that beauty means everything?

    Aside from that, I noticed that MCW acted with both psh and psy, both are in deep trouble.

  18. I feel really sad at this news, I can’t hold it against them (drug addiction is a serious issue that needs more than just the plain condemnation most of the Korean media will likely give this) especially knowing the conditions they work in when they do dramas, and also the idea that their careers as they know them are most likely over – a man can (if he did) rape someone and get to mud-sling his victim and still have fans, but someone being led into drug addiction side by side as part of something they do with the job will still get raked over the coals :/

  19. Sometimes i confuse Park Shi Yeon for Son Dam Bi as they seem to look similarly plastic-y and protrude similar kinda scary aura.

  20. Hope this wakes people up to the reality behind the fantasy. Most don’t want to know though, they want to obsess over the pretty and handsome actors and idols.

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