According to recent reports, Whitney Houston may have died from overdosing on Xanax, drinking too much alcohol, and/or drowning in her hotel room bathtub. While many people may have heard of Xanax, very few actually understand how it works and how it could be fatal if used under the wrong circumstances. As numerous Black Americans experience mental health disorders and choose to self-medicate, Whitney Houston’s death asks a larger question. Do we have a growing problem with combining prescription and recreational drugs? Or is Whitney’s death a rarity for our community?
So what is Xanax? It’s a drug that works to slow down chemicals in the brain in order to reduce nervous tension. It’s primarily used to reduce anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and anxiety caused by depression. But its creators also ask for people to take precaution in choosing to take it under certain circumstances. If you’re pregnant, you shouldn’t take Xanax, as it could harm the unborn baby. You shouldn’t take Xanax if drinking, as it could increase the effects of alcohol consumption. And if you have a history of depression, suicidal thoughts, and addiction to drugs or alcohol, Xanax could be detrimental, as it has become an addictive drug for many.
Under these circumstances, it’s questionable why Whitney’s doctor would’ve prescribed this drug knowing her long battle with recreational drug addiction. Xanax’s creators have reported side effects such as depressed moods, suicidal thoughts, unusual sleep patterns, drowsiness, appetite or weight changes, amongst numerous other potential circumstances that would’ve caused Whitney’s ongoing recovery to take a step back.