Anna Nicole Smith: Accidental Overdose?

There’s just no argument about it. Drug overdose can either be accidental or intentional. It happens when an individual takes more than the usual medically recommended dose. However, some people may be more sensitive to certain medications that their metabolism cannot stand the potency of the drug resulting in adverse effects such as overdose.

It can happen to people of any age. Accidental overdose is most common in very young children (from crawling age to about 5 years) while intentional overdose involves mostly adolescents and adults in order to harm themselves. Those who do it on purpose may be suffering from underlying mental health conditions, as well as emotional problems such as depression and anxiety disorder.

Celebrities are prone to drug overdose due to the stress and pressure their career and lifestyle bring. Take the case of River Phoenix who collapsed and died of a drug overdose on the pavement outside of a rock club during Halloween night in 1993 at age 23. Don Simpson, who was one of Hollywood’s most successful producers of the 80’s & 90’s with hits like Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop, Flashdance, The Rock, died of a drug overdose Jan 1996. Actor John Belushi of Animal House & The Blues Brothers died of a drug overdose at 33 years old. And just recently, reality t.v. star and heiress Anna Nicole Smith.

She was hotness personified. She did not only grace the cover of Playboy but even bagged that coveted title of “Playmate of the Year” in 1993. The bunny mag made her into an overnight sensation that sent men everywhere to keep asking for more. And that included Paul Marciano, Co-Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of one of today’s most recognized and influential brand names in the fashion industry, Guess?, who gave Anna her ticket to the glamorous life of modelling, and eventually, showbiz.

Anna Nicole Smith, who was born Vicki Lynn Hogan on November 28, 1967, in Houston, Texas rose to fame and headed in the same direction as the screen goddess legend, Marilyn Monroe. And just like her idol, Anna Nicole experienced celebrity status as well as a life of tribulations. At the age of 17, Anna (then Vicki) married Billy Smith who sired her a son they called Daniel. The relationship was short-lived so Anna began working as a topless dancer in one of the clubs in Houston to be able to raise her son and to pay the bills. She was discovered by a photographer and made her realized that she could use her body to fulfill her dreams.

Unfortunately, after a series of controversies such as marrying a very senior citizen, 80-year old oil tycoon Howard Marshall II, bitter court battles between her secretary, son-in-law, an ex-lover, and a slimming product, Anna Nicole Smith was found unconscious in her Florida hotel room on Feb 8, 2007, and was pronounced dead upon arrival to the hospital.

The headline reads: “An accidental overdose of prescription drugs killed former reality TV star and Playboy playmate Anna Nicole Smith”. According to Seminole tribal police Chief Charlie Tiger, the case was already closed. “We are convinced, based on extensive review of the evidence, that this case is an accidental overdose with no other criminal element present,” said Tiger at a news conference announcing Smith’s autopsy results.

Howard K. Stern, Smith’s lawyer and rumored lover, sent a statement calling the death a tragic accident. Read by his own attorney, Lilly Ann Sanchez, “At no time was there any indication of wrongdoing, whatsoever,” she said. “It’s horrible, it’s painful, it’s tragic, but it is an accident.” Media reports implicating Stern in the overdose accident of Smith was considered “outrageous speculations” by Sanchez. She said that Stern did not feel vindicated for he lost the most important person in his life, emphasizing that he loved Anna completely.

Several prescription medications were discovered inside the hotel room and were all under the name of both Smith and Stern. Joshua Perper, Broward County medical examiner, said prescription and over-the-counter drugs were found in Smith’s system, including three antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs. Toxicology testing also revealed the presence of human growth hormone and chloral hydrate, a depressant to induce sleep.

According to Perper, the drugs in Smith’s system acted on the respiration and circulation systems and basically shut them down. Contrary to speculations, he did not believe that Smith tried to kill herself due to the large amount of chloral hydrate remaining in the bottle, and the normal levels of the other medications in her system.

Autopsy results showed evidence that Smith had an abscess in her left buttock that had been perforated by a needle, probably caused by the injections of either the growth hormone or vitamin B-12. Such perforation allowed the bacteria entry into Smith’s blood causing a high fever in the days prior to her death. She was being treated with Tamiflu and Cipro, an antiviral medication and the other an antibiotic. Perper theorized that this would have not happened had Anna Nicole sought treatment for the fever and infection at a hospital where she wouldn’t have had the opportunity to take the chloral hydrate.

The remains of Anna Nicole Smith was buried in the Bahamas last March 2, 2007 next to the grave of her son, Daniel, who died in September, shortly after the birth of her daughter, Dannielynn. It is interesting to know that his son’s death was also ruled as an accidental overdose of three antidepressant medications: methadone, Lexapro and Zoloft.

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