Tiger Woods had five different prescription drugs in his system when he got a DUI

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The story came a little earlier this week but it’s kind of slow gossip-wise and I wanted to talk about it. The toxicology report has been released from Tiger Woods’ DUI arrest in Florida this May. If you saw the video from the police station or Tiger’s field sobriety test video it’s obvious that he was impaired. He was very sleepy, couldn’t walk straight and had slurred speech. He’s lucky to have been prevented from driving home after his accident, where he was found pulled over on the side of the road sleeping in the driver’s seat with two flat tires and bumper damage. Tiger has been ordered to take a court-ordered program after which he will not have a record, because of course, so the drug tests can now be released. It turns out that he was not only on Ambien, which alone would make him too impaired to drive, but that he had taken two different painkillers, the anti anxiety drug Xanax and medical marijuana on the night in question too:

Last Wednesday, Woods pleaded guilty to reckless driving and agreed to enter a diversion program that will allow him to have his record wiped clean if he completes the program. Now that there is no longer an active criminal investigation, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office made the toxicology results available, and a copy was obtained by ESPN.

According to the report, the drugs in Woods’ system were:

Hydrocodone, the generic form of a painkiller branded as Vicodin.

Hydromorphone, a strong painkiller commonly known as Dilaudid.

Alprazolam, a mood and sleep drug commonly known as Xanax. (The report also listed Alpha-Hydroxy Alprazolam, which is what Xanax becomes when it breaks down in the system.)

Zolpidem, a sleep drug commonly known as Ambien.

Delta-9 carboxy THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

It is not known if Woods had prescriptions for all of the medications. Medical marijuana is legal in Florida.

After the arrest, in the early hours of May 29, Woods checked into a clinic in June to get help dealing with prescription drugs, and announced last month that he had completed treatment.

“As I previously said, I received professional help to manage my medications,” Woods said Monday in a statement released through a spokesman. “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. I am continuing to work with my doctors, and they feel I’ve made significant progress. I remain grateful for the amazing support that I continue to receive and for the family and friends that are assisting me.”

[From ESPN]

Prescription drug abuse is so prevalent. It’s dangerous enough when someone is hooked on and builds up a tolerance to one type of medication. Some of these drugs can be fatal in combination with each other and Tiger is lucky he hasn’t had more serious consequences. We lost Heath Ledger to a prescription drug interaction and countless people since. I would say Tiger should know better than to drive on all those drugs but obviously he didn’t. Also I hope whatever treatment he received worked and that he’s clean now. Given the way Tiger does things (his own way) I bet that doctors just lowered his dosages and told him to take it easy.

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photos credit: WENN

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43 Responses to “Tiger Woods had five different prescription drugs in his system when he got a DUI”

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  1. Alix says:

    I have no tolerance for DUIs. None. Also, Woods is a self-important tool.

    • Mrs. WelenMelon says:

      DUI should be treated as attempted manslaughter.

      • Lindsey says:

        Up to 10 years prison time?! That’s insane! What if no one is on the road you will it be the the attempted manslaughter of?

      • Alix says:

        Not a bad idea!

        @Lindsey: You can never be sure whether another driver, or a pedestrian, will be on the road. If you get behind the wheel of a car while under the influence, you’re essentially driving a tank you can’t control, with no regard to the consequences to people or property. Stiffer penalties might lessen the number of idiots with multiple DUIs on their record who are still allowed on the road.

      • Lindsey says:

        Stiffer penalties sure ESPECIALLY for repeat offenders. 10 years in prison and a felony conviction is insane. We need to lower the non violent offender population not add to it by throwing stupid kids in for about seven years, branding them as one of the worst kind of felons (manslaughter implies violence) stripping them of their right to vote.

  2. Shelley says:

    Sometimes I wish authorities would encourage people to return unused prescription medications such as pain killers. There is a strong desire to use these drugs long after their initial use.With time you mix old with new drugs often forgetting contraindications. he’s had multiple surgeries and chronic pain for years. I’m curious if the same doctor prescribed these meds, probably not.

  3. Sixer says:

    “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.”

    Can you get Oxy and all the other whathaveyous without a doctor’s scrip stateside/in Florida? Or must he have bought them illegally?

    • justcrimmles says:

      Is oxycontin still manufactured? Thought it had been pulled from the market. My father nearly died from his dependence and abuse of that (among other pain meds.) I do have sympathy for him, because I’ve witnessed what back pain can do to a person, but at the same time, someone with his (Tiger’s) money and no doubt access, he could be receiving better care than just “here’s some pills.” But then, this is America, so 😒

      • Swordspoint says:

        OxyContin (a controlled-release form of oxycodone) is off the market, but the active ingredient oxycodone is still available in a number of other formulations, at least here in Canada. But the report on Mr Woods’ screen included hydrocodone, not oxycodone (although they are related substances). Regardless, yes, it would require a prescription, which means a physician would have been supervising his care. Unless he got them illicitly? Not sure what he meant by “without medical assistance”.

      • justcrimmles says:

        @Swordspoint thank you for the info. Have you seen the episode of Last Week Tonight (think it was that) where they showed a video of pain patients who had all been given Oxycontin or Opana, and claimed it gave them back their lives, the doctor(s) prescribing claimed it was non addictive, and they all just thought it was the greatest thing. Now, several of those patients have died and the surviving ones have struggled with their dependence on it.

        I’m not one to spout off “big pharma this/that,” but in this case, absolutely.

      • Lindsey says:

        Not sure where you live Swordspoint but OxyCotin is still on the market with “tamper resistant” coating.

      • Lindsey says:

        Just Crimmies- Sorry to hear about you father. Tiger may be able to afford world class care but may prefer a “Doctor” who will indulge his drug habits instead.

        Also, in the US you still can get OxyCotin

      • Ksenia says:

        I take OxyContin for fibromyalgia; I live in California, which is where my dr. prescribes it. Haven’t heard that it is going off the market around here! Living w/out it is literally unbearable for me. (But I don’t drive, either.)

      • Steph says:

        Believe me, the effects of OxyContin and Oxycodone are not even comparable. Until recently the latter was routinely given for getting a tooth pulled, etc. OxyContin would only be given for major injuries, debilitating illness or by doctors that knowingly were supplying addicts. That being said he was also on Delaudid which is a major major drug.

    • KB says:

      Where does it say he had oxycodone?

    • Sixer says:

      Sorry – I didn’t mean to pick out one particular item (and then get it wrong). I just meant – are strong drugs like this OTC in the US? Because otherwise how did he get them without any medical supervision?

    • Lindsey says:

      Sixer -
      He would need a prescription to legally posses them. Florida is especially legendary for pill mills, where a doctor sits behind a desk and writes as many scrips for as many “patients” as possible. Given his money, access, and celebrity status it would not be hard for him to obtain.

      Then there are always “friends” and drug dealers

      • thisishisbananas AKA poorlittlerichgirl says:

        There has been a crackdown on Pill Mills in recent years in Florida and the majority of them have been shut down. However, I don’t think it would be difficult for someone like Tiger Woods to get them through a doctor. I mean, he’s Tiger Woods. I doubt he has many “no” people around him. He definitely could get them from someone he knows that had them or from a drug dealer. Truth be told, it’s not hard for someone to get their hands on them.
        Now that the pill mills are pretty much closed in FL now (there are still some back alley doctors that over prescribe) people are turning to heroin b/c it’s easier to find and much cheaper. It’s all a very serious problem here. People from all walks of life are affected in one way or another. It’s awful.

    • Alix says:

      “Recently, I had been trying on my own to treat my back pain and a sleep disorder, including insomnia, but I figured I’d never get caught and there’d never be any consequences, because I’m rich and famous.”

    • graymatters says:

      My husband gets Percoset and Flexeril pretty regularly from the doctors. He never needs or uses as much as the docs prescribe, though. Since doctors are only willing to suggest Tylenol for me, I just take what I need from Mr. Gray’s stash. (I’m waaay overdue for a medical checkup — It’s been over five years) Tiger could be getting the stuff from friend’s cabinets or even from old prescriptions.

  4. justcrimmles says:

    Dilaudid though?!

    • thisishisbananas AKA poorlittlerichgirl says:

      Yeah, that was shocking to me too. I’m surprised he hasn’t od’d mixing all of those medications. He’s lucky to be alive and lucky he didn’t hurt or kill someone else.

    • swak says:

      That AND hydrocodone? He must have a HUGE tolerance to the pain meds alone. I could hardly handle hydrocodone after surgery.

    • Lindsey says:

      Dilaudid has a very low bioavailability when taken orally. It’s very different from IV Dilaudid they will give you in the hospital.

    • Mel M says:

      I was thinking the same thing! I didn’t know dilaudid could be taken in pill form. The stuff is amazing, after you have an emergency c section that is. I remember I couldn’t keep my eyes open even if I wanted to when I was on it. The hubs would be talking to me and I would be listening but eyes closed on their own and then that was it. I requested it after my c section with my twins as well because the tiny norcos they gave me weren’t doing anything after dragging two breach babies out of me.

  5. wheneight says:

    I will never understand how these multi-millionaires keep getting DUIs. If I plan on having 2 drinks or more, I’ll take an Uber. If Tiger wants to mix prescription drugs, at the very least hire a driver. It would be pennies to him.

    • Mel M says:

      Me either. Like all of the athletes that have car services through their league??? Why are you driving!!!

  6. MeAnnandEddiesEpicLoveStoryIsAHoax says:

    When will America admit that the war on drugs is a farce and the real fight is with half your population addicted to prescription drugs?

    • Ashamed 2 b a FL Girl says:

      If there was no drug issue in the US, I would guess law enforcement would drop by 60-75%. Not to mention all of the rehab, DUI, etc secondary income. Is it any wonder we fail at the “war on drugs”.

  7. Donna says:

    I had a friend who lived with chronic back pain, and became hopelessly addicted to pain meds. She’d mix up alarming pill “cocktails.” Until she mixed the wrong combo, and died from an accidental overdose. Addiction is horrible. I hope Woods can get himself sorted out and manage his chronic pain safely.

    • Indiana Joanna says:

      Tiger’s fall from grace is such a sad story. I’m not excusing his impaired driving and cheating on his wife. It’s just that I remember how absolutely spectacular-once-in-a-lifetime great he was when he burst onto the stodgy golf scene.

      Tragic. And all those prescriptions–he could have gone “shopping” to different physicians who weren’t aware of his existing prescriptions. Or else they were so starstruck that they gave him anything he asked for.

      • Lindsey says:

        Shopping is getting harder to do with prescription registries that talk to each other (even across state lines) it’s probably one star struck, well compensated doctor. It is justifiable as one for sleep, one anxiety, one daily pain management, one breakthrough pain. I have been on that combo myself minus the sleeping pill and I wasn’t behind the wheel.

  8. sage says:

    He’s crazy! He is so lucky he didn’t hurt himself or anyone else.

  9. Electric Tuba says:

    Silly Tiger, scripts aren’t for kicks!

  10. Angel says:

    Dilaudid is an EXTREMELY powerful medication, 10 times stronger than MS04 (morphine). People have died from combining Xanax with much less; Tiger is lucky he didn’t kill himself or someone else.

    • Erica_V says:

      Yeah I did a double take big time at that one. The other stuff is fairly easy to get a hand on but Dilaudid?!?!

      Also I love how you or I or any normal would’ve been in jail for years over this. 5 drugs in his system and he doesn’t have a valid script for any of them and a little bit of rehab clears that all up?

      Must be nice to be rich.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      I had dilaudid post op once, and it dropped my bp to the 80′s and made me hallucinate. Keep that shizz away from me.

  11. Kathy says:

    I’d like to point out that I “sleep drove” (like sleepwalking but with a car) on Ambien. First and last time I took it.

    • Lindsey says:

      That stuff is scary. I have heard some crazy stories of what people do on it. Some are very productive though!

  12. Sara says:

    There are indeed better methods information sharing now so it’s much harder to doctor-shop, but in Florida the mentality is to blame the patient rather than the doc. I personally know of two Doctor Feelgoods here who hand these out like candy.

    Our problem is not nearly as bad as in West Virginia, where a major bust just removed a total crook whose clinic did almost nothing except hand out narcotics. And this problem is not confined to the US. I’ve read that the UK is starting to feel the effects of the prescription drug problem.

    And of course there are hundreds of fake Rx manufacturers in India and China and elsewhere who have been cutting fake pills with Fentanyl, which even in tiny amounts can be fatal.

  13. Aubrey says:

    Tiger Woods, what is wrong with you!