Friday, August 8, 2008

Drug Rehab Chronicles – Beware Of Prescription Drug Combinations

After years of drug abuse, Vicki Lynn Marshall finally met her end with a deadly combination of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. The jury’s still out on whether the cause of death was accidental or otherwise, but one thing is certain – had Vicki Lynn completed a successful drug rehab long ago, she would likely be alive today.

For Vickie Lynn, the spiral to the autopsy table started years ago. Drug and alcohol abuse, dependency, and perhaps addiction, were part of her lifestyle. But when a series of adverse personal events led her to combine several prescription drugs, she was physically pushed over the edge.

The long list on the pathologist’s report was shocking. At the time of her death, she had consumed not two or three, or even four drugs – the autopsy found nine different prescription drugs and one powerful over-the-counter medication, at least five or six of which cascaded into the next, adding to and increasing their effects:

1. Cipro, a powerful antibiotic used to handle bacterial and viral infections

2.Chloral hydrate, a sedative and hypnotic to help her sleep

3. Benadryl, an OTC antihistamine

4. Four powerful tranquilizers

5. Atropine

6. Topiramate, an anticonvulsant now prescribed for migraines

Although the antibiotic was obviously needed to handle an infection, the sedatives and tranquilizers were indicative of needing drug rehab to get down to the bottom of what was causing the drug abuse. And the sedatives and tranquilizers, along with the antihistamine, atropine and Topiramate, are what actually killed her - each of them depresses respiration and circulation and, in Vicki Lynn’s case, these systems became so depressed they simply shut down. “She didn't suffer,” the pathologist said, “she went to sleep."

According to her autopsy records, Vickie Lynn Marshall died of an “acute combined drug intoxication” complicated by two minor infections, neither of which was dangerous if treated properly. Taken singly, none of the drugs was life-threatening, and none was an overdose.

Could Vicki Lynn’s life have been saved? Probably everything possible was done in the end but, factually, the problem started years ago – when she became dependant on drugs and alcohol. Had Vicki Lynn, or someone who cared about her, recognized the signs and made sure she got through a drug rehab program that addressed the issues behind her drug abuse, she may not have turned to drugs when events seemed to conspire against her and she may be alive today.

Vicki Lynn’s story is not unusual - millions of people depend on prescription drugs. But, as we can see from Vicki Lynn’s story, some of them can be dangerous. If someone you care about is dependant on or addicted to prescription drugs, find a successful drug rehab program. Don’t let them end up on the autopsy table like Vicki Lynn Marshall – who you may know as Anna Nicole Smith. By Rod Mc Taggart.

1 comment:

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