Winona Ryder collapse attributed to Xanax overdose

Earlier this week, actress Winona Ryder fell ill on a flight from Los Angeles to the UK and was given priority landing at Heathrow Airport. Now it’s being reported that Ryder was feeling the effects of an unintentional overdose of Xanax and ended up having her stomach pumped.

HOLLYWOOD actress WINONA RYDER was rushed to hospital yesterday after collapsing on a BA jet with a suspected accidental overdose of tranquillisers.

Winona, 37, had her stomach pumped at a West London hospital.

She was discharged last night.

The waif-like star, thought to fear flying, collapsed twice in first class on ten-hour flight 282 from Los Angeles to Heathrow.

It is believed she mistakenly took too many Xanax pills — used to treat anxiety.

One passenger said: “She turned a deathly shade of pale. It was scary.”

The Boeing 747’s captain requested a “priority landing” and touched down 22 minutes early at 11.13am.

Winona, whose film successes include Dracula, was rushed to Hillingdon Hospital where she was checked in under a false name.

[From The Sun]

Xanax has become the prescription drug of choice for many air travelers. The last time I had to take a long flight, I had people coming out of the woodwork offering me some from their private stash. (I didn’t take it- pills make me puke!) And we all know that Winona is no stranger to popping pills. In 1999, Ryder was busted for shoplifting and for possession of prescription medication without a prescription. It sounds like she took a few too many this time. Hopefully, she only pops pills when she’s flying.

Winona is supposed to be appearing in the upcoming “Star Trek” reboot, as well as the Blake Lively/Keanu Reeves vehicle “The Private Lives of Pippa Lee.” Glad to see her working again.

Winona Ryder is shown at the Los Angeles premiere of the film “Milk” on Nov. 13. Photocredit:WENN.

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46 Responses to “Winona Ryder collapse attributed to Xanax overdose”

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  1. ff says:

    lol. I figured it was likely to be something like that. Didn’t she have an awful lot of prescription drugs on her when she got busted for shoplifting?

    This is not new.

  2. Cinderella says:

    You’d think with her years of med-taking experience she would know better.

  3. TC says:

    She turned a more deathly shade of pale than this?

  4. daisy424 says:

    I can relate to the fear of flying.
    How many could she have taken and at what milligram?
    Last time I flew to Europe a 1 milligram Xanax plus 2 double shots of booze helped me sleep until we landed in Paris. No problems. She must be a lightweight.

  5. devilgirl says:


  6. Susan says:

    She’d probably been eating them all day. You get more messed up when you’re in the air.

  7. Codzilla says:

    Daisy: I’m not big on flying, either. My fear doesn’t stop me from going places, I’m just more relieved than most when the wheels touch down. 😉

    As for Winona, you’d think after all this time, Xanax would be freakin’ child’s play. An Oxycontin OD would seem more on the level.

  8. Strcasm says:

    There’s Winona! I wasn’t looking for her, but it’s good to know that she’s still taking pills. During these turbulent times, it’s comforting to know that some things just never change.

  9. Baholicious says:

    I needed two glasses of red wine to get me from T.O. to Tampa (that’s a 2 hour flight). I can’t imagine being in the air for the time it takes to go to say, Australia for example. Cryonically suspend me and thaw me when we’re there 😀

  10. daisy424 says:

    @Codzilla, I can go sleepless a week before my flight sick to my stomach with worry. I have had a few terrifying mid-air close calls, which caused my fear. A little dab will do ya where the meds are concerned though, makes for a more relaxing experience. 😉
    My husband on the other hand is snoozing before we pull away from the Jetway…..

  11. geekaziod says:

    Jetway? You mean RUNway, okay I was so lost there for a second.

  12. Cici says:

    Jetway — the thing you walk on that connects you from the airport building to the actual airplane. I think she really DID mean jetway.

    I, too, have a major fear of flying that only developed late in life (weird). I am hesitant to take even cold meds, but I WILL take 1 mg of xanax before flying.

  13. daisy424 says:

    Cici, thanks 😉
    Geekazoid, Jetway, that’s what my flight attendant sister calls it, sorry for the misunderstanding.

    Edit* While flying into O’Hare at night, we were just about to land. I could see the blue runway lights and waited for the ba boom of the wheels touching down. We immediately started to take off instead of landing. I was pushed flat back into my seat from the force and could hear the whine of the engines as we started to climb at a steep angle. After we leveled out the pilot came on the PA and informed us that we almost collided with an Air Brazil flight taking off on the same runway.
    Another time, my sister bumped me up to 1st class on a pass. While drinking my champagne, I could hear that mechanical voice through the cockpit door, “Wind shear, wind shear”, then “Pull up, pull up”. The plane dipped sharply, banked and leveled off, but I spilled my glass all over my lap.

    I’ve got a couple more, but my Grandkids just walked in. Later.

  14. Codzilla says:

    Daisy: My husband is exactly the same way. He even prefers a turbulent ride because it’s “fun”. I remember one flight in particular, when the plane was bouncing (slamming, really) around and I was petrified. He on the other hand was relaxed as ever, and kept looking at me with that “what’s the big deal?” face. I nearly punched him!

    Do you mind if I ask about your close calls? If you’d prefer not to talk about it, I understand completely. I’m just being nosy. 😉

  15. geekaziod says:

    Oh I didn’t know that :p I spend most of my time listenign to music when in an airport. I watch waaay to many air crash investiagtion speicals and half my family are pilots or doctors so when I yell at people ” I am not comfortable 2 miles up in the atmosphere knowing I’m in a flammable plastic and paper mode of transportation!” LOL I really get on peopes nerves when I fly.

  16. JaundiceMachine says:

    People offer you pills before flights?! Man, I need to get some new friends. . .

    My love and I used to date long distance – like, 1000 miles long distance. I got over my fear of flying with a tried and true method, “Smoke yourself stupid and then listen to the Ipod.” It generally worked well enough flying out to see him, but the check-in and security lines at DIA is panic-inducing enough with narcotic paranoia.

    Daisy – do tell.

  17. whatevs says:

    Poor Winona. She’s been looking odd and a little more than crazy these past few years. I hope she gets some help if she’s addicted.

    When I was 17, flying home to Hawaii from CA, I took one too many Tylenol PMs and could barely keep my eyes open. I was sitting next to a really cute guy and woke up drooling all over myself. Totally embarassing. So now I try not to self medicate on the plane, I’d rather be in control if some shit goes down. Totally understand everyone’s fear of flying, though. My best friend wants to be knocked unconcious before she even gets near the plane, HATE flying with her.

  18. CiCi says:

    um, if you’re going to start talking about close calls, i’m going to have to stop reading this thread now. lol. or else pop a xanax just to read.

  19. Granger says:

    I love flying! I’ve never had to take pills. But I feel for people who do.

    I, for one, am NOT glad to see that Winona’s working again. I think she’s a terrible actress, horribly overrated.

  20. Codzilla says:

    Daisy: 😯 I would have gone into cardiac arrest. Seriously. I applaud you for even going near an airport, again.

    Hope your having fun with the grandkids!

  21. Codzilla says:

    Ps: Just read a news story about an Air Canada co-pilot who had a mental breakdown mid-flight, so the flight attendant had to help the other pilot land the plane. I guess the guy went so batsh*t, he had to be sedated, restrained, and ultimately spent 11 days in an Irish mental facility before being sent back home. (They had to make an emergency landing en route to London.)

    Can you imagine? Hanging out, trying to relax when suddenly the pilot is dragged kicking and screaming out of the cockpit? Lovely.

  22. Diva says:

    OMG! I fly AirCanada from Seattle to London and back FOUR TIMES A YEAR!!! My tickets are BOUGHT for Dec.31… now I’M going to have a mental breakdown!!!!


    I knew I shoulda stayed away from here like I said I was going to. 😛

  23. Mairead says:

    Better not click this link then Diva 😉

    I have to say I love flying (except the whole check-in / immigration control business) and the only thing that bothers me is when the plane suddenly dips as it is agony on the ears and neck. I wouldn’t go so far as to say turbulance is more fun though – Codzilla, your other half is a looper 😆

    I’m dying to hear more of Daisy’s stories though! :mrgreen:

  24. Leni says:

    I miss Winona. She is such a wonderful actress and I love any movie that she is in. She has a poignancy that is often missing in this crop of hardened, botoxed so-so actresses.

  25. Diva says:

    I clicked. 😳

    But actually, it made me feel better. The captain really seemed to keep things in hand and everything was fine.

    Like I said, I fly that airline over 10,000 miles 4xs a year and the worst that’s ever happened to me is the TV’s on the back of the seats in front of us went out. GOD, that was a long flight!

    But now, I will be nervous as hell when I fly Dec.31 and back on Jan.13. I always take Xanax on the flight just so I can sleep most of it away, but this time it will be for that and more!

  26. Codzilla says:

    Diva: Sorry about that! Although, you’re right, the fact that everyone else kept it together and the plane landed safely is comforting.

    Mairead: A looper, indeed. 😆 We live on top of a mountain, and the road up and down is narrow, steep and unforgiving (i.e. plunging off a cliff is a real possibility). Still, he drives like a maniac, all the while giving me the “Don’t worry, I’m totally in control” speech. Famous last words …

  27. Tess says:

    In an odd way, I think that the waifish, neurotic, virginal Winona, like she who shall not be named (tho her initials are JA), is a victim of Angelina Jolie’s redhot, preternatural female sexuality.

    I don’t think Ryder ever recovered from the experience of being knocked flat and rolled over by Jolie’s potent performance in Girl, Interrupted.

  28. yadira says:

    Shoot, from LA to UK makes her sick? That’s nothing, my first time on a plane ever was a 14 hour flight from San Diego to Italy. I loved it, woot woot….. 8)

  29. Christina says:

    you can get arrested for having prescription drugs without a prescription? ???

  30. enchantress says:

    Xanax is one of the worst benzo’s going: short-acting, and can get VERY habit-forming very quickly. Withdrawal is brutal – seizures if one tries to stop taking it “cold turkey”. Hope she’s all right….I always have had a soft spot for Winona, the pretty Petaluma girl 😥

  31. Christina X says:

    I’m so glad I’ve never been on a plane.

    I’m absolutely terrified of heights. Being thousands of feet in the air? Whoa, no thanks!

  32. Donna West says:

    Oops I did it again

  33. Trashaddict says:

    I’m looking at her face, it looks like there’s more than just benzos goin’ on there….

  34. Rosebudd says:

    Wow, what stories, concerns! Cinderella, how funny, but sadly true. Really, if you want to be a professional, passionate and good addict, you have to know that you cannot take enough Xanax to have to have your stomach PUMPED…I wonder if Miss Winona will have to absorb the cost of landing, etc.. She is really N o.k. actress and is aging quite well. I wish her the best in rehab. About that pilot having mental breakdown, I don’t know how they sedated him mid-flight because they don’t carry any narcotics as far as I know. Maybe Winona was on that flight and shared. I was a flight attendant for a private co. for a few years. The co. had military contracts and we flew troops and supplies into strange places. We flew international, so we had some long flights on a DC-8. This was in mid 90’s. Talk about some scary flights and inside info., like drunk mechanics called out to repair plane. One time BOTH captain & co-pilot gone from cockpit and a stupid flight engineer not realizing airport in UAE trying to reach us on radio as we were heading into no-fly zone in Iran. Many stories….

  35. RCDC says:

    Christina – i HATE heights, but flying’s not so bad on that. you can’t judge distance from that height.
    People may not want to read this BUT…
    I was in a (tiny tiny totally noncommercial) plane crash when i was eleven. flying kinda flips me out, but i love traveling, so what are you gonna do? mostly i hate takeoff and landing, partly for ptsd type reasons, partly because they are the most dangerous, and partly because you just can’t ignore the fact that you’re in a giant tin can any more. i get through it with a little ativan, but it’s all i can do not to smack around those stupid idiots who keep noodling on their f-ing blackberrys after we’ve left the gate. i don’t care how small the odds are that it’ll cause a problem, just stop freaking doing it!!!!
    deep breaths…

  36. drm says:

    I just take a big old Valium…works everytime 🙂 (I HAAAATE to fly as well…HATE)

  37. Ter says:

    One of my neighbors is a flight attendant and funnily enough she said she almost flipped out on a plane one time. She was not working at the time, she was going on a family vacation, but suddenly she got the claustrophobic “fight or flight” feeling. She said she tried to stay as calm as she could because her young son was sitting beside her on the plane, but she said she couldn’t make her way fast enough to her father who was seated a few rows up so that he could give her some xanax. She said her voice was all constricted and panicky by the time she got to him. It was dire straits for a few minutes.

  38. Dingles says:

    My first time flying EVER was a 16+ hour flight to Tokyo in December, when I was 18. I vomited all over myself (couldn’t find the airsick bag in time) 20 minutes into the flight and spent the rest of the flight in a soaking wet, smelly shirt because I didn’t think the carry a spare, it being my first time n all.

    Then I landed and found out they lost my luggage.

    …I hate flying.

  39. elle says:

    Winona is very depressed, perhaps middle age crisis.She is 37, single, no children. 8)

  40. daisy424 says:

    Here’s a link to complete some fear, remember this one?

    I was at Sky Harbor in Phoenix waiting to fly out to Cleveland. There was a 2 hour delay due to mechanical problems. After boarding, as we were taxiing down the runway we were not picking up the speed that I normally feel on take off. As we lifted off the runway I could hear the engines strain metal on metal as were attempted to climb. The angle was very steep and then we were dropping, climbing, dropping, climbing, moving from side to side like the rear end of the plane was out of whack. Then nothing. No engine sounds, no G-force, like we were floating and losing altitude. Then there was a huge surge in power and we were slammed violently back in our seats with a hard bank left. I could easily see the earth through the window across the aisle from me. When I say dropping, I mean it. People were freaking out, yelling, panicked, etc. The two women sitting to my right were bent over crying and praying. I think their reactions frightened me more. But all of the falling felt like a roller-coaster.
    A friend of ours is a the AF, he investigates plane crashes. He thinks we must have hit the turbulence of the plane that took off prior to our take off.
    That happened 4 years ago and was the last time I flew.

    My sister 35 years with AA, had many close calls. Once they lost an engine on takeoff from LGA in NYC. They later found the engine (from a 727 200) on the runway. The final report deemed it a catastrophic engine failure. They had only climbed to 50 feet thank God.
    On a lighter note, she had PE Obama and his family on a Chicago to Hawaii flight and said they were very nice and didn’t ask for special treatment. Michelle remembered her from an earlier flight. She offered to bump them to 1st class. They refused and stayed in coach. That was 3 years ago.

    Christina, the pills should be in a RX bottle with your name on it. If not, yes, I think that’s illegal.

  41. Mairead says:

    There are some great stories here! i mean, not so great for you at the time you went through them, but immensely entertaining for the rest of us 😳 I must say I love those air-accident programmes also, perhaps it’s the geeky science bit as much as anything else.

    I’d love to hear more of rosebudd’s stories though – a DC-8 you say, isn’t that a pretty ancient model, even in the 90s? (mind you, so is the 747)

    EDIT – I’ve just remembered the perfect joke for this conversation:

    Mick was flying back to Dublin on a jumbo jet, when all of a sudden there was a shudder and a jolt. The captain came on the tannoy and announced “This is your captain speaking. We’re experiencing a difficulty with our engines and we’ve lost power to our No.1 engine. Now, there is absolutely no need to be alarmed, we’re perfectly safe as we’ve three other engines running. Unfortunately there will be a delay of 45 minutes on the journey”. “Merciful Hour” says Mick and orders a drink off the air-hostess.

    The flight toddles on for another while, when once again the plane shudders and they lose some height. Again the captain comes on and reassures everyone that although they’ve lost another engine, that everything is perfectly safe. But unfortunately because of losing another engine, the flight will be at least 90 minutes late arriving.
    “`Saints preserve us” says Mick and orders another drink.

    Another while into the flight and a THIRD engine goes. This time the flight is going to be nearly 4 hours late!

    “Oh for feck sake!” says Mick, “That last bloody engine had better hold out, otherwise we’ll be up here all night!!!”


  42. Jinxy says:

    She’s still lifting clothes too. Woman needs some serious intervention.

  43. Angie says:

    Sadly, once again, the only way Noni can get any attention is to do something very, very unwise. Her career is and has been failing, she is dealing with being a has-been and Johnny Depp is with someone else. I wonder if those who truly love her will intervene and help this poor, sad tragic case. When you are 37 and still have pictures of Bono on your headboard (her words in Vogue, so sad), another woman’s husband, really, what are you but a sad, sad old adolescent. My advice, Noni? Drop out of showbiz (no one will notice), get married to a regular guy and have kids. Just be normal. Just be.

  44. jimmy says:

    she must have mixed xanax with something else as it’s extremely hard to overdose on xanax by itself.