Superstar Whitney Houston’s Death the Latest in a Long, Tragic String of Losses to Prescription Drugs?
Early news reports comment on the presence of multiple prescription drugs in the star’s room that could easily have combined with recent alcohol consumption to cause her death.
On February 12, 2012, the world learned that yet another talented individual has been lost most probably to prescription drugs. The day before, Whitney Houston had died in her Beverly Hills hotel room as Grammy celebrations were going on all around her.
Ms. Houston was alone when she died in her bathtub. She had to be lifted out of the water by paramedics who tried to revive her. But like other celebrities before her, multiple bottles of prescription drugs were found in her hotel room. Initial news reports stated that the powerful tranquilizer Xanax and lorazepam (often sold as Ativan) and also Valium were present, all from the benzodiazepine class of drugs. It was also reported that she had been drinking alcohol the night before, which can intensify the effects of
This drug list is similar to the list of drugs that were found in Heath Ledger’s body after his death in New York in 2008. The coroner reported that he died from the combined actions of two painkillers, one antihistamine plus Valium, Xanax and temazepam. The last three drugs are also benzodiazepines anti-anxiety drugs.
were also found to be involved in the deaths of Michael Jackson and Anna Nicole Smith. Amy Winehouse was found to have the benzodiazepine Librium in her body when she died, as well.
Were Whitney’s Prescriptions Given to Her in Rehab?
News services over the years have reported on Ms. Houston’s repeated trips to rehab. In interviews in 2002 and 2009, Ms. Houston openly admitted problems with drugs and alcohol. Her most recent trip to rehab was in May 2011.
A person going through withdrawal and dealing with the many stresses of early recovery may manifest anxiety. Many conventional drug and alcohol rehabs prescribe addictive benzodiazepines as part of their treatment. Others prescribe opioids like methadone or buprenorphine, both addictive.
“The only people who know if these benzodiazepines were prescribed at her recent drug rehab program are her doctors and perhaps her family”, stated Clark Carr, president of Narconon International. Narconon® is a non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of substance abuse and addiction, with more than 100 offices and facilities around the world.
“At Narconon rehabilitation centers, we avoid strictly, the use of any drugs like benzodiazepines, methadone or buprenorphine, Mr. Carr added. We find that with ample nutritional support and with effective help to start building a positive future, anxiety quickly fades away. And with our methods of making withdrawal more tolerable and of reducing drug cravings, drug substitutes like methadone are not needed.”
The focus of the Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program is to help each student forge a new, completely sober life for him or herself. The Narconon program includes a thorough, sauna-based detoxification cleaning that helps reduce cravings and also has a strong component of life skills training.
“If drugs that were supposed to help her recover from addiction later actually caused her death, it makes her passing all the more heartbreaking”, concluded Mr. Carr. “Our deepest sympathies go to her family at this time.”
To find out how you can help a loved one recover a fully drug-free life, contact Narconon International today at 1-800-775-8750.
“Why Narconon Primer Paso [First Step]?” asked Francisco Lozano Torres, co-director of Mazatlan drug rehab center, Una Luz en el Camino. “Because our Narconon® friends from the United States cared enough to come down here and offer us new tools, real help to improve our results fighting against this scourge.” This Gulf of California coastal city, once known as one of the premier fishing and tourist destinations, unfortunately now may be better known as where most of the Mexican drug cartel capo’s came from. Cities throughout the state of Sinaloa, including Mazatlan and Culiacan, especially, are patrolled daily by well-armed police in open jeeps. Murders, assassinations, vendettas are the theme of the times. But there are courageous citizens working to change this.
Francisco Lozano and Victor Capaceta, co-directors of two drug treatment centers, pulled together with other Mazatlan rehab groups, including Jovenes Fuentes de Vida and Vida y Esperanza, to march in support of a drug-free future. Children and adults, recovering addicts and staff carried banners naming their centers and also “Narconon Primer Paso” and “El Camino a la Felicidad” [The Way to Happiness]. This is a book used in the Narconon First Step program to help addicts in recovery rediscover a moral compass, to rethink how they want to live when free from drugs.
“We not only use this booklet of commonsense values and choices ourselves,” said Lozano. “We distribute it to other centers and on the streets where there is violence and fear. We see it really helping.” The Way to Happiness is a small book written by author and humanitarian, L. Ron Hubbard, for just such a purpose – helping persons to help themselves and others achieve a more peaceful, honorable, ethical life style. Tens of thousands of copies have been handed out throughout the state of Sinaloa by these volunteers. It is increasingly popular inside rehab centers as the focal point of discussion amongst recovering addicts.
CONADIC (National Council Against Addiction) reports that between 1994 and 2007 27,570 persons in Sinaloa asked for drug treatment help. In Mexico, 3.5 million persons over 12 years old are believed to be using some type of drug. Marijuana, cocaine, and crystal (methamphetamine) are the worst. The US Dept of Justice says that Mexican drug traffickers are now the leading manufacturers and distributors of crystal meth. Thus, meth and its illicit profits have become the fuse igniting so much violence amongst the cartels.
Although many hope it will just go away, others such as Capaceta, Lozano and other drug rehab directors and staff are working vigorously to reduce demand and re-educate drug users about the worth of drug-free living. They are to be saluted.
For more information on the Narconon First Step and other drug prevention activities, visit www.narconon.org or call 323-962-2404
President Narconon International, Clark Carr, just finished his fourth tour of Mexico in less than two years, bringing unique Narconon® drug-free withdrawal and relapse prevention technology to Mexico. Accompanied by U.S. and Mexican volunteers, Carr demonstrated pain reduction and emotion-calming techniques to men’s and women’s facilities in Guaymas, Sonora and Uruapan, Michoacan as well as to street children, under rehab protection and help in Michoacan.
“The purpose,” says Carr, “is to show up with real help when and where help is needed. Every man, woman, and child we assist to come off and stay off drugs in Mexico will be one less person for the drug-cartels to feed off. While others fight them with guns, as may be necessary, Narconon is pulling the rug out from under their boots -reducing drug demand.”
Mexican daily newspapers trumpet continued killing and acts of wanton cruelty, most traced to warring drug cartels. The head of the PRD, Mexico’s ruling political party, was kidnapped only a few weeks ago. It is all about drug money, but not all coming from sales in the U.S. Mexico now has its own burgeoning drug problem -Mexican-manufactured ‘hielo’ (ice), the smokable variant of meth. Heroin, from Mexican-grown opium. Of course, alcohol, still the world’s most abused drug, and then glue and other inhalants ‘huffed’ in glue-smeared cloths by children abandoned by drug-addicted parents or, worse, sent to the streets to beg and spy on gossip for the cartels.
“Drug addiction cannot be fought with guns,” says Dr. Julio Marquez, Guaymas surgeon and emergency room doctor. “We need to address the problem at its root. That is why we asked Narconon to come down and show us its new simple, teachable tools to help our local rehabs and prisons.”
The Narconon First Step is a compact tool kit, composed of data on effective non-pharmaceutical nutritional supplements, hands-on “assists” that reduce pain and manage emotional and mental discomfort and disorientation, communication skills, and The Way to Happiness, a non-religious guide to common sense rational choices to make in life, by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. “These are practical tools,” said Arturo Angel Medina, director of Uruapan’s Providencia rehab group, “You can see it in the happier faces. Narconon and its help is welcome back anytime.” “Yes, God bless Narconon for coming,” said Leticia, Arturo’s director of the Providencia children’s rehab. “Come back soon.” Narconon will, says Carr, very soon. Much more to do.
For more information on Narconon and the First Step program, visit www.narconon.org or call 323-962-2404