Friday, April 6, 2012

Whitney Houston's Death Sends Message to Clinicians

An official autopsy report released Wednesday reveals that popular singer Whitney Houston had cocaine in her body at the time of her death in a Beverly Hills hotel room on February 11. Houston, who recorded such hit songs as “I Will Always Love You,” “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” and “Greatest Love of All,” was a superstar in the 1980s and 1990s but led a tumultous personal life that included bouts with addiction and admissions to drug rehab. The tragedy is a reminder that clinicians should screen all patients for substance use disorders and help those who screen positive to get appropriate treatment; also, maintenance treatment for such patients may be needed. For extensive coverage of substance abuse, see Psychiatric News and Cocaine and Metamphetamine Addiction: Advances in Treatment, from American Psychiatric Publishing.

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