Experts tell HollywoodLife.com that if Whitney consumed alcohol while taking Xanax and other prescription drugs, it could have caused her to stop breathing.
Whitney Houston passed away on Feb. 11. She was found unconscious in a bathtub in the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. Sources tell TMZ that Whitney allegedly died from mixing Xanax and other prescription drugs with alcohol. HollywoodLife.com spoke with three addiction experts, and they all agree that such a situation could have caused Whitney to stop breathing.
“Alcohol and the Xanax can cause pulmonary issues where you stop breathing,” Clare Waismann Kavin, Beverly Hills Addiction Specialist, tells us. “Both the alcohol and Xanax are pulmonary suppressants — they slow down your breath. If you take too much, you can stop breathing. Your breathing gets so shallow that you pass out and stop breathing.”
At first, it was suspected that Whitney drowned, but according to TMZ‘s sources, The L.A. County Coroner informed the family that there was not enough water in her lungs to point to drowning — but rather she was likely already dead from the mixture by the time she became submerged in the water.
“She was 48 — as you get older your body doesn’t respond [as well] and your lungs are not as elastic,” explains Dr. Harris Stratyner, Regional Clinical Vice President of Caron Treatment Centers. “Xanax is a mild tranquilizer or central nervous system depressant, and alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. If you take the together, you can stop breathing, pass out and even go into a coma.”
And Whitney had reportedly been suffering from a sore throat. “If she was taking antibiotics, she could have had some infection going on that could have added to the other risks combined if her metabolism was weak at that point,” says Kavin.
“It’s such a tragedy,” Marty Brenner, Beverly Hills Addiction Recovery Specialist, notes. “I hope this is an awakening for Hollywood.”
– Lindsey DiMattina
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