Whitney Houston had cocaine in her system when she drowned in the bathtub at Beverly Hilton Hotel, according to the official report released by the Los Angeles Coroner today.
Whitney Houston sunk into the bathwater after suffering a massive heart attack caused in part by her prolonged drug abuse.
Following the news, Whitney Houston’s family has released a statement that says: “We are saddened to learn of the toxicology results, although we are glad to now have closure.”
The singer’s mother, Cissy Houston, is reported to be “shocked” to learn that her daughter was still using drugs at the time of her death.
According to TMZ, Cissy Houston believes Whitney began taking drugs again due to stress over her comeback, but thought her daughter was sober at the time she filmed the movie Sparkle.
The ruling is an ignominious ending to Whitney Houston’s fall from grace.
The report also ends weeks of speculation over how the 48-year-old pop icon died, with some members of her family even suggesting foul play may have led to the surprise death on February 11.
Ed Winter, spokesman for the coroner’s office, said the official cause of death was accidental drowning.
He added that heart disease and the star’s cocaine use were contributing factors to her collapse.
The Chief Coroner Craig Harvey stated during a press conference that the results suggest “chronic usage” of cocaine by Whitney Houston.
He said there was “an acute dose” of cocaine in Whitney Houston’s system when she died.
Craig Harvey added that the results indicate the star ingested cocaine “not probably too much before she collapsed”.
Coroner’s officials said the results suggest Whitney Houston was a chronic cocaine user.
Traces of marijuana and the prescription anti-anxiety drug Xanax were found along with Flexiril and over-the-counter Benadryl, but they did not play a direct role in her death.
Law enforcement sources said it was likely that Whitney Houston had a heart attack that caused her to lose consciousness and drown in the bath at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
The heart attack was probably brought on by the hardening of her arteries as a result of years of cocaine abuse.
Immediately after the death, it was widely thought that drinking binges combined with prescription pills combined to make the star lose consciousness and slip under the bathwater.
But the toxicology tests did not show any significant amount of alcohol in Whitney Houston’s system.
Several bottles of prescription medication were found in her hotel room, but they were not said to be in excessive quantities. No cocaine was discovered in the room.
Beverly Hills police said in a statement there was no evidence of wrongdoing in connection with the death.
The final Coroner’s report is expected to be released in approximately two weeks.
Whitney Houston died just hours before she was scheduled to appear at producer Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy Awards bash.