Golfing powerhouse Tiger Woods had taken a mixture of Xanax, a strong drug used to combat anxiety, and the painkiller Vicodin when he was arrested on May 29 on charges of driving under the influence, according to police in Jupiter, Florida, where Woods was stopped.
Xanax was the mystery substance that was not revealed at the time of Woods’ arrest.
Doctors warn that the anti-anxiety drug and Vicodin can be especially dangerous when mixed, hindering the body’s ability to breathe. In an August 2016 advisory, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned of “serious risks and deaths” from combining benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, with opioid medicines, like Vicodin. That class of powerful narcotic medicines treats severe pain.
At 2 a.m. on Memorial Day, Jupiter police said, they found Woods asleep at the wheel of his damaged Mercedes-Benz.
Woods, who had undergone his fourth back surgery in April, said he had not had anything to drink that night but did take prescribed medications including Vicodin, police wrote in their report.
Woods said later in an official statement to reporters that he had had an “unexpected reaction” to the drugs.
When the police report first was made public, in two passages in which officers asked if Woods had taken any medication, his answer was blacked out. But a newly released version, which does not feature the redactions, reveals in both cases he said, “Xanax.”
The drug — also known as Alprazolam — treats anxiety, insomnia, and seizures, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
Woods’ Breathalyzer results came back as 0.000. His urine sample results have not been revealed.
Neither Woods’ publicist Glenn Greenspan, nor his attorney on the DUI case, Douglas Duncan, immediately responded to requests for comment.
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