Did Xanax Kill Whitney Houston?

Merely Me Health Guide February 28, 2012
  • A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the untimely death of mega-pop star Whitney Houston on our depression site. I think we were all shocked by this news because Whitney Houston was relatively young (48) and her death was so sudden. Yet in some ways her early demise seemed a possibility over the years...

13 Comments
  • Judy
    Health Guide
    Feb. 28, 2012

    I agree with you 100%, MM.  I think Whitney Houston killed herself, most likely, if she did, indeed, take that combination of drugs with alcohol.  I'm also guessing her heart and perhaps some other organs were already compromised by her continued substance abuse over a number of years.  I think we are the ones responsible for following our doctors'...

    RHMLucky777

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    I agree with you 100%, MM.  I think Whitney Houston killed herself, most likely, if she did, indeed, take that combination of drugs with alcohol.  I'm also guessing her heart and perhaps some other organs were already compromised by her continued substance abuse over a number of years.  I think we are the ones responsible for following our doctors' instructions about the drugs we're prescribed and if we think a mistake has been made, then we have to speak up and tell the doctor, not make a guess and moderate the dosage ourselves.  With the way insurance is set up, I think it's hard to regularly take more than what is prescribed because they don't allow you to refill it too much ahead of time, so it makes me wonder how people manage this.  Do they get it from other people, or what?  Even if you get prescriptions from multiple doctors, your insurance will still know that you are already on a drug and won't allow you to fill another prescription, unless there's something different about it.

     

    Anyway, I don't think this is one of those times we can criticize the pharmaceutical companies - nobody forced her to take too many or to drink while taking them.

    • Donna-1
      Feb. 29, 2012

      Of course, you can buy just about any medication, including Xanax, online without a prescription from places like India and New Zealand.  I've bought prescription diet pills that way.  Your insurance will never know.

       

      And I think Breggin has made many outrageous statements, but this has to be one of the craziest.  It's like saying someone...

      RHMLucky777

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      Of course, you can buy just about any medication, including Xanax, online without a prescription from places like India and New Zealand.  I've bought prescription diet pills that way.  Your insurance will never know.

       

      And I think Breggin has made many outrageous statements, but this has to be one of the craziest.  It's like saying someone wouldn't have died of a car wreck if cars had never been put on the market.  Yes, and I wouldn't be obese if Cheez-its and ice cream had never been put on the market!

       

      Whatever happened to "personal responsibility"?  I'm responsible for whatever I put in my body, whether benzo's, alcohol, or Ben & Jerry's.

    • Merely Me
      Health Guide
      Mar. 01, 2012

      Great statement Donna!

       

      Addiction is something I personally have trouble wrapping my mind around because it is too close to home.  I lost my father to it...I lived with it with my first boyfriend as he was a drug addict. It is something so overwhelming and destructive to not only the person but everyone around them. 

       

      I don't know what...

      RHMLucky777

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      Great statement Donna!

       

      Addiction is something I personally have trouble wrapping my mind around because it is too close to home.  I lost my father to it...I lived with it with my first boyfriend as he was a drug addict. It is something so overwhelming and destructive to not only the person but everyone around them. 

       

      I don't know what the answer is but all I know is that it sure causes a lot of grief and sadness especially when you lose someone to an addiction.

       

      I hope that Whitney Houston's daughter will not go down the same path. 

       

      Thanks so much for your wisdom Donna.

    • Merely Me
      Health Guide
      Mar. 01, 2012

      Hi Judy

       

      Well...they still don't have any official report of the cause of death.  Some are even saying it was an "accident" at this point.  But it does seem likely that prescription drugs and alcohol played a part in Whitney Houston's death. 

       

      What I don't like is that when stories like this come out there is this knee jerk reaction...

      RHMLucky777

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      Hi Judy

       

      Well...they still don't have any official report of the cause of death.  Some are even saying it was an "accident" at this point.  But it does seem likely that prescription drugs and alcohol played a part in Whitney Houston's death. 

       

      What I don't like is that when stories like this come out there is this knee jerk reaction to blame the medication or pharma.  What about all the people who take Xanax or other types of psychotropic drugs responsibly? Not everyone is an addict or will be one.  Then you get into...are the doctors to blame?  Look at what happened in the case of Michael Jackson and his doctor.   I don't know what the answer is but maybe we need to stop casting blame and look at the underlying reason for why so many people suffer from addictions.  It is really a national crisis.  There are certainly many differing opinions on this.

       

      Personally...I don't think Whitney Houston intentionally set out to kill herself.  I think that it was a very unfortunate set of circumstances (yet to be determined) which was the cause of her death. 

       

      We shall see what the news reports say in the days and weeks to come.

       

      Thanks so much Judy for your comment and insight.

  • Donna-1
    Mar. 02, 2012

    This may be a subject for another post, but I'm wondering if there are some addictions that are more difficult to break than others.  Maybe that sounds naive to you (you with your own addictions, whoever you are).  But it seems like whatever addiction the individual has, it seems like nothing could be worse to try to stop.  They are ALL difficult....

    RHMLucky777

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    This may be a subject for another post, but I'm wondering if there are some addictions that are more difficult to break than others.  Maybe that sounds naive to you (you with your own addictions, whoever you are).  But it seems like whatever addiction the individual has, it seems like nothing could be worse to try to stop.  They are ALL difficult.

     

    My friend (a very Conservative Christian) stated that being gay is the hardest addiction to break.  Whether or not being gay is a choice or inborn is beside the point here.  And how does she know this?  Has she ever been gay?  Has she ever triumphed over alcoholism or cigarette smoking or using cocaine?  I think we each have predilictions toward certain addictions.  My father smoked, so it was only natural for me to pick up his cigars and cigarettes and try them myself.  A friend's mother was an alcholic, so it was easier for her to develop a taste for alchohol, too.  It was already in the home.  Or we have a personality that drives us to experiment and we try one drug after another. Or sexual partners.

     

    Whatever MY addiction is, it surely seems the most difficult to quit.  The same for YOUR addiction.  I can't judge anyone who is addicted to anything, because I know how much I want cigarettes (even though I "quit" in 2002).  The father of a friend was driven to steal from his own mother for alcohol money, despite the fact he had already gotten several DUI's and been in jail and rehab over and over.  And from taking so MANY different prescription meds, I am aware of how easy it is to get addicted to those, too.  There is a medical need, yes, but sometimes there also a psychological or physical addiction.

     

    Where am I going with this?  Is one addiction harder to break than another?  I doubt that Whitney Houston is any different from the rest of us.  Addictions happen without our planning for them.  And they take hold until we focus on the addiction instead of life.  I say what Jesus said, "Let he who is without sin throw the first stone."

    • Merely Me
      Health Guide
      Mar. 03, 2012

      Hey Donna

       

      You raise a lot of very interesting questions here.  Perhaps I will try to research your initial question about which addiction is harder to overcome.  But I am not sure if there is an answer to this.  It is based a lot on subjective experience.  I have watched that celebrity addiction show with Dr. Drew.  Not sure...

      RHMLucky777

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      Hey Donna

       

      You raise a lot of very interesting questions here.  Perhaps I will try to research your initial question about which addiction is harder to overcome.  But I am not sure if there is an answer to this.  It is based a lot on subjective experience.  I have watched that celebrity addiction show with Dr. Drew.  Not sure if you have seen it.  I remember a very intense episode where ex-bassist for the group Alice in Chains, Mke Starr made a comment comparing his addiction to the other people's.  He said something like...some of these people are talking about marijuana addiction...I am dealing with getting over heroin.  In his mind there was a huge difference and...I tend to agree with him.  Sadly even after all the interventions and rehab experiences Mike Starr died at th age of 44.  It is just so sad. 

       

      My mother, who has schizophrenia, has still not broken her addiction to smoking cigarettes.  As a child I would hide her smokes and even crush them but to no avail.  Her addiction was so strong she would find butts on the street to smoke.  So I know how extreme addiction can be.

       

      Some of the people I knew growing up and especially in high school are now dead of their addictions. 

       

      And my father lost his life to his alcoholism.

       

      So yeah...no judgement here.  And to Whitney Houston's credit she had tried to get herself together in rehab.  But...it wasn't enough evidently.  She was still abusing prescription drugs and alcohol.  Now whether this was the cause of her death remains to be seen.

       

      One can be addicted to...so many things...sex, food, gambling, nicotine, street drugs, alcohol, prescription drugs, tanning....the list goes on and on. My point is...the emphasis should not be upon the objects of the addiction but to answer instead, why are so many people experiencing addiction? 

       

      And as far as your friend's comment to an addiction to being gay....that is a logic I do not follow.  As I understand it and believe...nobody chooses to be gay.  It has nothing to do with addiction.  But that is a whole other topic we can discuss in another post.

       

      What would be very helpful to our readers is if you could ever write about how you overcame your nicotine addiction.  This is the part of the story that I am most interested in...how people do recover from addiction.

       

      Thanks so much for sharing Donna,

      MM

  • Pam Flores
    Health Guide
    Mar. 01, 2012

    Hi MM!  I guess I haven't been following the news, so thanks for this update!  I wonder though, if the final results will show what really happened?  We may never know, and I'm pretty cynical about the news, thinking we don't always hear the whole story anyway.

     

    I'm really surprised by the statement, ...if xanax wasn't on the market...I...

    RHMLucky777

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    Hi MM!  I guess I haven't been following the news, so thanks for this update!  I wonder though, if the final results will show what really happened?  We may never know, and I'm pretty cynical about the news, thinking we don't always hear the whole story anyway.

     

    I'm really surprised by the statement, ...if xanax wasn't on the market...I don't know what the heck has happened to personal responsibility. Growing up we were taught that we must take responsibility for all we do, and I think that teaching has fallen by the wayside over the years-or completely died out. We have a lot of people who feel that they are owed something by society/govt/companies and I don't know where this comes from. I don't mean all people either, but there seems to be so many with this sense of entitlement. We can't constantly blame others, unless others are at the center of the cause. Occam Razor comes to mind here, and I think if you use that logic you'll find the most likely cause of Whitney's problems were Whitney's, but of course she had an addiction which is also a disease and she can't take the total blame in any respect.

     

    This is so sad, no matter what the cause was. 

     

    Thanks for keeping us up to date on the world!

    • Merely Me
      Health Guide
      Mar. 01, 2012

      Hi Pam

       

      I think you have honed into the center of the controversy if you will...and that is...when something like this happens...who or what is to blame?  Or is this a question we should even ask when it comes to addiction?  Is it an "accident" when people mix medications with alcohol and then a bad outcome is the result?

       

      My personal...

      RHMLucky777

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      Hi Pam

       

      I think you have honed into the center of the controversy if you will...and that is...when something like this happens...who or what is to blame?  Or is this a question we should even ask when it comes to addiction?  Is it an "accident" when people mix medications with alcohol and then a bad outcome is the result?

       

      My personal view is that Whitney Houston was not a victim.  I think she may have made an error in judgement (if medications and alcohol are implicated in her death).  I don't really think she wanted to die but I think that she took some dangerous risks. 

       

      We will see what what the official report says.  Maybe we will all be surprised in the end.  At any rate...it is a very tragic loss.  I am a Whitney Houston fan and I didn't like seeing her go like that. 

       

      Thank you Pam for stopping by!  I always love seeing you.

  • anne1123
    Feb. 29, 2012

    Way back when I was still in a methodone program, Xanax and Klonepin were the drugs I heard most mentioned by addicts still using.  They used these drugs alone or in combination with heroin.  Still, I don't think we should rush to judgement.  Perhaps Whitney just had a heart attack and did not combine alchohol with prescription drugs.  It...

    RHMLucky777

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    Way back when I was still in a methodone program, Xanax and Klonepin were the drugs I heard most mentioned by addicts still using.  They used these drugs alone or in combination with heroin.  Still, I don't think we should rush to judgement.  Perhaps Whitney just had a heart attack and did not combine alchohol with prescription drugs.  It will probably be another month before they come out with the autopsy results and yet we have all made up our minds that she did it to herself.  I don't know what happened but I am sorry that Whitney lost the battle against addiction and suffered death at such a young age.  But being a former addict (I have five and a half years clean and sober) I know how hard that battle really is.  Even now with all that time under my belt there are times when depression and loneliness whisper temptation in my mind.  I make a conscious decision every day not to indulge especially not to drink.  Superstardom makes access to all the wrong things just that much easier and there are always people willing to help you do the wrong thing especially if the price is right.  Some people just want to be in the shadow of a star.

    • Merely Me
      Health Guide
      Mar. 01, 2012

      I like and appreciate what you say here Anne.

       

      Your comment brings much needed balance to this topic of conversation.  You are very right.  We don't know what killed Whitney Houston.  Right now everything is speculation.  And it is a very difficult journey to go from addiction to sobriety.  I commend you on all that you have achieved. ...

      RHMLucky777

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      I like and appreciate what you say here Anne.

       

      Your comment brings much needed balance to this topic of conversation.  You are very right.  We don't know what killed Whitney Houston.  Right now everything is speculation.  And it is a very difficult journey to go from addiction to sobriety.  I commend you on all that you have achieved.  When I hear of success stories like yours I get a little sad thinking if only my father would have chosen a different path.  I see that it is possible.

       

      If I may ask...how did you do it? 

       

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience here.  I really appreciate how much you have opened up to us.

       

      MM

    • anne1123
      Mar. 03, 2012

      I wish I had some magic formula to reveal.  All I can say is that I decided that drugs killed my husband and I wasn't going to let them kill me.  I decided that I didn't want to be an old woman standing on a line in a clinic waiting for my dose of methadone.  After I made up my mind I started doing things to get sober.  It still did not...

      RHMLucky777

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      I wish I had some magic formula to reveal.  All I can say is that I decided that drugs killed my husband and I wasn't going to let them kill me.  I decided that I didn't want to be an old woman standing on a line in a clinic waiting for my dose of methadone.  After I made up my mind I started doing things to get sober.  It still did not happen overnight and I am always just one step away from relapse.  But I am okay as long as I don't take that step.  It is true what they say about "One day at a time".

    • Merely Me
      Health Guide
      Mar. 03, 2012

      How long did the whole process take?

       

      and thank you for sharing this...I commend you on your courage to take those steps towards recovery.

       

      MM

    • anne1123
      Mar. 12, 2012

      It took way too long MM.  I was a drug and alcohol abuser from the time I was a teenager all through my adult life and have only been clean and sober since June 6, 2006.  Shortly before that I had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized.  While I was in the hospital I detoxed off the methadone.  When I was discharged I just never started...

      RHMLucky777

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      It took way too long MM.  I was a drug and alcohol abuser from the time I was a teenager all through my adult life and have only been clean and sober since June 6, 2006.  Shortly before that I had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized.  While I was in the hospital I detoxed off the methadone.  When I was discharged I just never started using drugs again.  It is basically a miracle as far as I am concerned.