Some of the readers of the Drug Safety and Health News Blog were a little confused about what really happened to pop entertainer Whitney Houston, what with the long delay in determining the cause of death and the conflicting and confusing messages coming out about what happened to her. That and the curiously bland and bizarre Oprah appearance by her sister-in-law “manager” Patricia Houston.
The coroner said that cocaine was found in her system “but it wasn’t a lot and none was found in her room.” Maybe that was cuz, um, she used it all? They also said she might have had a “cardiac episode” or a heart attack to which cocaine contributed but none of the other drugs in her system, including xanax, flexoril, benadryl and marijuana “contributed” to her death, which was ruled death by drowning.
I mean, what?
First of all, she didn’t have a heart attack, otherwise it would have been reported in the autopsy. You either do, or you do not, have necrotic (i.e. dead) cardiac muscle tissue with a heart attack, and it is plain to see on autopsy. Second of all, these references to “60% narrowing of a coronary artery” and atherosclerotic heart disease are hooey. Almost everyone over age 40 has some atherosclerosis, and that narrowing isn’t clinically significant. Third, there is no way they can say that all those drugs she was on did not “contribute” to her death. The fact is, she was wasted all day, interrupting interviews and doing cartwheels into the hotel pool. She later took a bath and slipped under the water and drowned under the influence of multiple prescription and non-prescription drugs.
Another celebrity Xanax victim. Nuff said.