Xanax and Casual Drinking Can Kill You---Why Don't we Talk About this More?

Truths from the Chaos                     

I’d like to shed some light on the prescription drug, Xanax. It is an over the counter drug approved to treat anxiety and panic disorder. Instructions are clear: Avoid drinking alcohol when taking this medication. I guess this goes without saying, right? For that matter, alcohol should never be used with any drugs. Still, I just do not think most people know how dangerous alcohol and Xanax are to the central nervous system. Together both slow the activity of the brain. People may also be more sensitive to the effects of alcohol as alcohol tolerance is not the same.

Now for the side effects: Drowsiness, dizziness, problems with coordination, unusual behavior and memory problems. It may also slow both the heart rate and breathing, which can cause a person to pass out or have trouble breathing -- and may even lead to death.

It has been two weeks since Whitney Houston’s death. I was sitting at my desk writing on that Saturday night when I learned the news. I toggled over to my facebook account when I saw a local newspaper update. I flashed back to my "yesteryears" on one afternoon in particular when my college sweetheart and I parked outside of William Faulkner's home in Biloxi, Mississippi to talk. He had recently graduated from college and got a terrific over one hundred miles away from me. I remember I tried to be ok with the news, but still had a difficult time not feeling sad. The song, I Wanna Dance with Somebody, came on the radio and things felt a little lighter in the car.  When I hear the song "I will Always Love You" I think about a ski trip to Big Bear Mountain.  I have many bitter AND sweet memories of her music through my college years and as I transitioned into a young adult.  Her music is a part of my life~~~

I deliberately left my TV turned off for the first twenty four hours after her death. Yes, I was grieving. I lit Holy Spirit candles in each of the rooms in my home during her entire four hour funeral. My tears felt as though they came from my soul. A tragic, senseless death... heartbreaking... but finally; she is at peace.

True, I wrote somewhat of an in your face blog about high profile people and my concerns that society does not do enough to help these people. Though it may seem as such, I am not trying to tell off the world. Admittedly, I just feel so much outrage when people stand around scratching their heads with a WTF look on their face. The answers to questions are usually glaring right at them. Yes, there is more to it for me too. Soon, the core of all my emotions will be revealed...

My interest lies in education. In due time, I expect to have an active role working with survivors of friends, coworkers and loved ones who have commit suicide as well as people who struggle with alcohol, chemical/other dependencies and trauma and post traumatic stress.

I also want to write. My first manuscript is a dossier in story form of the events that led to my illness in late 2009. My thoughts and opinions presented stem, for the most part, from my work and research with doctors, therapists, counselors and specialists these last three years and still today. My definition of work is more than likely different than the Webster dictionary definition, but it is work just the same. It is through my work, personal experience and by the Grace of God I am extremely comfortable writing and speaking about subjects such as suicide, trauma, dependencies and the rest of what typically goes along with people trying to tackle these issues in their lives.

I wanted to point out something about Whitney Houston’s tragic, untimely death. I do not think for one moment she tried to kill herself. I am in agreement with many she had a hellish, troubled past, and on many days she still found herself in the middle of her own personal battle field. Reports allege Whitney Houston became terribly upset in the hotel gift shop after reading a tabloid heading that indicated she recently collapsed. Reports have surfaced about the prescription drug, Xanax since her death.

My own personal opinion is that Whitney Houston retreated to her room to take a long bath before the Pre-Grammy dinner. Maybe she took ONE Xanax to calm her nerves/anxiety...  That’s it. I do not need to say anymore. I do not need to know the exact details of the cause of death or await the results of a toxicology report.  Based on the facts I have shared, by all means arrive at your own opinion.

I shudder to think about the level of consistent toxicity in a body that regularly takes a prescription medication such as Xanax. One single 8 ounce glass of wine might just be all it takes to cause a person to pass out….or die.   Accidental overdose?  Is this true of Heath Ledger too? How many more times do we need to hear this conclusion?  

Don’t ignore someone who regularly takes this medication and casually mixes alcohol. Please do not take it lightly. Please do not look the other way. It is Russian roulette with a body.



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