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A Dangerous Cocktail: Prescription Drugs that Led to Tiger Woods’ Arrest

In a report released by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office earlier this week, five drugs were attributed to the intoxication and subsequent DUI arrest of golf legend Tiger Woods. The events took place in May, and culminated in Woods’ treatment at a south Florida rehab facility.

Woods completed treatment near the end of June, and took to Twitter to make an official statement.

“I recently completed an out-of-state private intensive program. I will continue to tackle this going forward with my doctors, family, and friends. I am so very thankful for all of the support I’ve received,” he wrote.

Prior to that statement, he publicly admitted to mixing prescription drugs, saying that, “Recently, I had been trying on my own to treat my back pain and a sleep disorder, including insomnia, but I realize now it was a mistake to do this without medical assistance.”

After Woods pled guilty to reckless driving, the toxicology reports from the incident were made available to the public. The incident occurred on May 29 near Woods’ home in Jupiter, Florida, where he was discovered asleep at the wheel by local police.

The following five drugs were involved in Woods’ intoxication:

  • Vicodin
  • Dilaudid
  • Xanax
  • Ambien
  • Marijuana

Woods underwent spinal fusion surgery in April of this year, and has acknowledged the severe pain he has suffered from in recent years.

Mixing Prescription Drugs: A Slippery Slope

The combination of prescription drugs that led to Woods’ arrest and treatment is unfortunately a common occurrence.

With more and more prescriptions being written, the risks associated with drug combination continue to increase. As with Woods’ case, many patients maintain their own prescriptions, without guidance from a medical professional. In many instances, individuals mix together substances that should not interact, or should be administered in smaller doses.

Providing individuals with prescription education should be an essential part of physicians’ prescribing practices. The combination that Woods took had the potential to be fatal—a fact that many individuals mixing scripts together do not realize.

Potent prescription medications should be prescribed ethically, with all risks and possible interactions clearly stated upfront. The power of prescription drugs, in relation to their availability, is disheartening—and a major factor in the opioid epidemic that we are currently facing in our nation.

Stories like Woods’ remind us that mixing prescription drugs is a dangerous game, and that countless individuals across the country, regardless of their fame, are struggling to cope with pain management and its many associated hardships, including substance abuse.

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