Ex-Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr reportedly mixed methadone and meds before his death

Published: Wednesday, March 9 2011 3:41 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — Mike Starr's Salt Lake roommate said the former Alice in Chains bass player was "mixing" methadone and anxiety medication before he died.

Starr, a founding member of the Seattle alt-rock group, was last seen alive about 7 a.m. Tuesday, according to police. When his roommate returned about 1:45 p.m., he found Starr dead in his bedroom and called 911, said Salt Lake police detective Shawn Josephson.

"Evidence" was seized from the scene, but there was no obvious cause of death, Josephson said. That will likely not be determined until toxicology tests were completed, which could take up to a month.

Starr's roommate told TMZ he had been using methadone in an effort to get sober in addition to medication for anxiety "he had been suffering from since his arrest last month."

"Mike was a beautiful person who was fighting to stay sober. ... I am going to miss him greatly," the roommate told the website.

Starr was arrested in Salt Lake City on Feb. 17 during a routine traffic stop. Officers found he was illegally in possession of prescription medication, including the painkiller Opana, also known as oxymorphone, and alprazalam pills, used to treat anxiety and panic attacks.

The officer also discovered Starr had a separate warrant out for his arrest for failing to show up for sentencing on a 2003 felony drug possession conviction in 3rd District Court.

In 2010, Starr was in VH1's "Celebrity Rehab" program for heroin addiction. During the show's taping, he said he had been kicked out of Alice In Chains for drug abuse.

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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