Wrestler Chyna Dead at 45: Possible Overdose
According to official reports. former WWE wrestler Joanie Laurer (a.k.a. Chyna) passed away in Redondo Beach, on Wednesday, April 20. While her cause of death is still being investigated, law enforcement say her death was reported to the L.A. County coroner’s department as “possible overdose.” However, there was no evidence of foul play or suicide.
She was found in her apartment by a friend after she had failed to answer her phone for several days. Laurer’s manager said she “was found peacefully”.
Prescription medication was found, but no illegal drugs. Reports say that she was taken medication for anxiety and insomnia. In the next two days, an autopsy will be conducted. However, the toxicology results, which may indicate the cause of death, could take several weeks.
Chyna holds the distinction of being the first woman in the Royal Ruble Match and King of Ring events. and the only woman to win the Intercontinental Championship. She was also hailed as the “9th Wonder of the World”.
In addition, Chyna was featured on two television reality series for VH1: “The Surreal Life“, and “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew”. She also starred in several adult films.
Overdose is suspected due to existing prescribed medication and her history with drug and alcohol use. On “Celebirty Rehab” she was being treated for alcoholism, but she also told Dr. Drew in 2008 that she (no surprise to anyone) had taken anabolic steroids, which had been contributed to manic episodes.
According to Laurer, she was the product of a broken and dysfunctional home. Her father was an alcoholic, and her mother had a string of unhealthy relationships.
Several other Dr. Drew cast members have died since their show’s airings. County Singer Mindy McCready committed suicide in 2013. Joey Kovar of MTV’s “Real World” died of an opiate overdose in 2012. Rodney King also drowned in 2012, with alcohol and numerous drugs found in his system, according to toxicology reports.
A point to remember while we are awaiting toxicology results: if it was, indeed an overdose, these situations can be complicated. Think of Whitney Houston and her heart problem exacerbated by substance use. Laurer may very well have had an underlying health problem, which may or may not have been affected by the prescription drugs she was taking.
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A, Psychology
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