After 6 weeks we finally have an answer as to how Whitney Houston died. Sadly it appears she used cocaine “in the time period just immediately prior to her collapse in the bathtub at the hotel,” said L.A. County Chief Coroner Craig Harvey.
Houston,48, was determined to have accidentally drowned Feb. 11 following an apparent heart episode with cocaine as contributing factor. A 60% narrowing of Houston’s arteries “suggest a cardiac event complicated by the cocaine use” that led to Houston slipping underwater, Harvey said.
“Something happened that caused her to go down and we know that when she slipped under the water she was still alive,” he said.
Officials would not say how much of the drug was in her system. But Harvey, the coroner’s operations chief, said the toxicology findings “suggested chronic usage” of the drug.
David Campbell, a retired captain for the coroner’s office, said a heart condition is often linked to blockages of blood flow to the heart. Use of cocaine and other narcotics would intensify the dangers, he said.
Cocaine can constrict blood vessels and reduce blood flow, he said.
The autopsy results were released Thursday after weeks of intense speculation over how the 48-year-old pop star died.
Houston had battled drug addiction for years, and the coroner’s office found traces of several drugs — including marijuana, the anti-anxiety medication Xanax, the muscle relaxant Flexeril, as well as Benadryl — in her system.