After nearly six weeks of speculation, the results of Whitney Houston‘s autopsy are finally back, and they show that the singer had a possible heart attack and drowned. And not surprisingly–but sadly, cocaine was listed as a contributing factor to her death.
Even though no traces of the drugs were found in her hotel room and Houston’s sister-in-law, Patricia Houston, recently told Oprah that it was “doubtful” that Whitney was on drugs at the time of her death, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Chief of Operations, Craig Harvey, stated that Houston appeared to have used cocaine “in the time period just immediately prior to her collapse in the bathtub at the hotel.” Which is especially sad because she was alone at that time from what we can tell.
Harvey also noted that the results of toxicology testing indicated that Houston was a chronic cocaine user and had a pre-existing condition called atherosclerotic heart disease, which can lead to blockages of blood flow to the heart.
Ed Winter, the coroner’s deputy chief for operations noted, “She could have had a heart attack,” rendering her unconscious, and then become submerged in the filled tub.
Tests also revealed that marijuana, Xanax, Benadryl, and a muscle relaxant called Flexerill were all found in Houston’s system. The coroner didn’t believed these contributed directly to her death, although use of all of these narcotics could have increased the danger.
In a statement today, Patricia Houston said that the singer’s family was “saddened to learn of the toxicology results” but “glad to have closure.”
We are glad to have closure too, but are especially sad to hear that the 48-year-old singer was still heavily into drugs. Even though there were numerous indications that she continued to drink heavily and use cocaine, it’s not something anyone really wanted to believe. It’s really sad when someone with so much talent and potential–not to mention a teenage daughter who will forever be affected by this–could not get the help she needed.