Whitney Houston: Another Star Lost to Prescription Drugs?
The death of superstar Whitney Houston has left many in shock. Even with her very public struggles with addiction and many saying that her death was “just a matter of time,” one can’t help but wonder how this could have happened to another beloved celebrity.
Those close to her have been insisting that she was “clean,” and authorities have confirmed that no illicit drugs were found in her room on the day of her death. While a toxicology report is still pending (and we may not know the exact cause of death for many weeks), the initial autopsy results did confirm that she did not die from drowning, as was first speculated.
What is known for certain is that several prescription drugs were found in her room and that she was taking Xanax to help with her anxiety. So, could those “legal” drugs have been the cause of her demise?
The Dangers of Xanax and Prescription Drugs
Again, while it’s not confirmed, experts are guessing that Whitney Houston may have died from a lethal combination of Xanax and alcohol. Though no alcohol was found in the room when she died, she was out late drinking and partying heavily the night before.
Xanax, which is a prescription drug prescribed for anxiety and depression is classified as a benzodiazepine. It is known to be addictive, and when taken in higher dosages can lead to severe sedation and intoxication.
Combined with alcohol, the effects of Xanax would be even greater and could result in serious side effects. How serious? Well, death, for one . . . depending on how much of the drug was taken, how much alcohol was consumed, and in Whitney’s case, what other prescriptions may have been taken along with it.
Taken on its own and as prescribed, Xanax is advertised to be fairly safe . . . although the list of potential side effects of Xanax and drugs like it is longer than Santa’s list come Christmas. And really – with all the recalls that have happened recently regarding various prescription drugs, is any drug truly safe?
Xanax and Addiction
Research has shown that the recreational use of Xanax and the incidence of intentional overuse of the drug are on the rise. What experts also know is that people with a history of addiction and alcoholism are at an especially high risk of dependence and misuse of a drug such as Xanax. This has left many wondering why doctors had prescribed the drug to the singer in the first place, knowing of her troubles with addiction.
While we can only speculate as to what actually killed Whitney Houston for now, we do know that Xanax and alcohol can prove lethal. And even if it wasn’t the direct cause of her death, chances are that very same combination used over the years likely took a major toll on the singer’s health and state of mind.
Following in the footsteps of other great entertainers, such as Elvis Presley, Heath Ledger, Amy Winehouse and Michael Jackson, you can’t help but hope that Whitney Houston’s death will spark a closer look at prescription drug use . . . and an investigation into the doctors who are prescribing them to high-risk patients.
Stay tuned for a second article this week regarding Whitney’s death, prescription drugs, and the responsibility of the doctors who prescribe them.