The death of American singer Whitney Houston

The cause of the death of pop legend Whitney Houston is an overdose of medication, drugs and alcohol. The singer had struggled with alcohol addiction for many years. Later, cocaine and drug addiction were added. How can a world-famous singer succumb to the consequences of her addiction? Unfortunately, it often happens that celebrities struggle with addiction and ultimately die from it. Whitney Houston is no exception. Whitney Houston was a great example for young girls who also dreamed of a career in music. But she is now also an example that a talent like her could not overcome her addiction.

Beverly Hilton Hotel

The famous singer was found in her bath at the Beverly Hilton Hotel from Saturday to Sunday, February 11, 2012 . The cause of the singer’s death at the age of 48 is an overdose of drugs and alcohol. Like most overdose victims, Whitney Houston had a long history of addiction. Her intense battle with cocaine and alcohol received extensive media attention. She has been treated for her problems at least three times. Her last stay in a clinic was in May 2011. Like Whitney Houston , other overdose victims have also received treatment before. Addiction is persistent and is often caused by stress, work pressure and trauma. the fact that Whitney Houston died in a hotel room at the Beverly Hilton says something about her loneliness, despite the fact that she was a successful singer.

Whitney Houston and her medication and alcohol use

In the days before Houston’s death, she was seen drinking excessively. Something that is not recommended for people in recovery from other addictions. Especially if they just left rehab . Some people find that their addiction is limited to certain substances. For many others, alcohol increases the chance that they will return to their (old) addiction. Alcohol tends to take away inhibitions, even with one drink. Whitney probably wanted to suppress her cocaine addiction by using alcohol and medication. She probably also developed an alcohol addiction.

Risk age for overdose in combination with medicines

Houston’s age also fits the profile of typical overdose victims. It is noticeable that older people with an addiction also use medication for certain (old age) ailments. Most overdose cases occur during that period. Although we usually think of young people, there are actually three periods of addiction when the fatal risks are the highest.

  1. The first is when the user is inexperienced. We have to think about the young users. However, it is precisely in this group that deaths occur less often than among older users.
  2. The second risk period is just after a period of abstinence, such as in a clinic or in prison. The abstinence period reduces the tolerance to the addictive substance that people build up during their use. This increases the risk of overdose with the same dose of drugs that used to be ‘safe’.
  3. The third high-risk period is middle age. In fact, the majority of overdoses occur in people aged 45-54. The second largest group is aged 35-44. Men are more likely to die from an overdose than women, but two-thirds of overdose deaths occur in men, due to the higher prevalence of addiction in men. (The prevalence of a condition is the number of cases per thousand or per hundred thousand at a specific time in the population)


Deadly Mix of Medicines, Alcohol and Narcotics

What stands out so far in Houston’s death is that it does not appear to be associated with prescription painkillers. This usually occurs in 40% of overdose victims . Most overdoses involve a combination of sedatives other than opioids , including alcohol and benzodiazepines, such as Valium (diazepam) and Xanax (alprazolam). The prescription drugs they found in Houston’s hotel room include Xanax, Valium and Ativan (lorazepam), all three are anti-anxiety medications. When people take a combination of medication and a large amount of alcohol, the mix can be fatal. They can make people vulnerable to drowning in shallow water, such as in the pool where Houston was found, or choking on their own vomit.

Preventing overdose

There are some important ways to reduce the risk of overdose. It sounds like a cliché, but it is clear that the first way is not to do drugs. For those who do not follow that advice, it is important not to take a combination of drugs. Certainly not a mix of medicines that have the same kind of effect. You should then consider, for example, substances that have a dampening or calming effect, known as ‘downers’. Alcohol is also a downer. A mix of stimulants such as cocaine and amphetamine is also a bad idea, but it is less likely to lead to death than a combination of drugs that can slowly or, at high doses, stop breathing acutely. In opioid overdoses , the problem can be reversed with an antidote known as Narcan , ( naloxone). The medicine is safe and non-addictive.

Illegal drugs and overdose

Victims of an unintentional overdose show clear signs of (extreme) drug use before or at the time of their death. These are often illegal medications that have not been prescribed by a doctor. In a 2008 study in West Virginia , a state in the United States with a high rate of overdoses, researchers found evidence of drug abuse, including drug abuse. The use was intended to be taken at the same time as alcohol while taking medications such as Xanax, in 95% of deaths. The combination of medication and other substances such as cocaine and alcohol is often a deadly mix for an overdose. The dosage in case of an overdose is not always high, but can just as well be a low dosage. At that point, the body, and especially the heart, is no longer resistant to drug or alcohol use.

Book: ‘What really killed Whitney Houston?’

Psychologists Judith Sherven and Jim Sniechowski have investigated the ‘true’ cause of Whitney Houston’s death. The book discusses the life behind the success of the famous singer. The authors describe from their profession and experience how Whitney Houston was able to develop a destructive lifestyle. The book describes the entire life story from childhood to her success. On the one hand, the singer was able to keep herself going through the use of psyche-active substances, but the sad part of the story is that it also ended her.

Celebrities with an addiction

We’re not going to list celebrities with addiction here. It is true that many famous movie and rock stars cannot bear the luxury. The loneliness at the top is killing. Alcohol and drug use are common among people with high work pressure. Few overdose victims have Whitney Houston’s talent. A legend that had great difficulty recovering. We need to think about how we can prevent similar deaths. It is important to inform people who are at particular risk of overdose. Such as leaving treatment or prison. It is important to inform about the tolerance effect and the danger of mixing medications. Addiction is often chronic and characterized by relapse. But with an overdose, all hope for recovery ends!