Question: How could a prescription benzodiazepine like Xanax mixed with alcohol kill somebody?
Answer: They’re both central nervous system (CNS) depressants. If a person gets a CNS depressant overdose, either by taking too much of a single CNS depressant of by combining multiple CNS depressants, the person can lose consciousness and end up in cardiac/respiratory arrest — the heartbeat/breathing can literally slow to a stop — especially if the person passes out face-down on a bed (think Heath Ledger) or in a tub full of water (think Whitney Houston), where he/she could easily suffocate. Obviously, people can do this to themselves intentionally or unintentionally.
Question: Could Whitney Houston have simply fallen asleep in the bathtub and drowned when her head tilted in such a way that her nose and mouth went underwater?
Answer: Highly unlikely. Under normal conditions, a sleeping person would be awakened by the obstruction of his/her airway. If she fell asleep, slipped underwater, and didn’t wake up, then she was probably either already dead or her CNS was desensitized by a substance or substances (the very term “narcotic” means “narcosis-inducing” or sensory numbing/blunting, as in a pain-killer or anti-anxiety drug).
While I’m here, you wouldn’t know it with all of the Whitney Houston coverage, but a California serial killer duo named for a CNS stimulant (methamphetamine) — known as the “Speed Freak Killers” — are back in the news. Their killing spree, in the late 1980’s and 90’s, claimed an estimated 15 victims, maybe more. One half of the duo got out of prison in 2010 (how, you ask? — it’s California!) but killed himself not long after. The other half’s still in prison, and in exchange for $33,000 from that “world famous bounty hunter” Leonard Padilla (remember him? — I diagnosed him with “spotlightus enviosis” back during the Anthony case), recently revealed the location where they dumped the remains of several victims (an old abandoned well). The killer’s reportedly going to use part of the money to pay off a restitution judgment so that he’ll be allowed to buy “luxury” items like candy bars during the rest of his stay in prison. Meanwhile, Padilla’s reportedly going to try to claim reward money for finding the victims’ remains — an interesting business model to say the least.
Ok, now forget about the morbid topics that I often write about here, like the ones above, and have a HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!