Whitney Houston was 'chronic cocaine user' and drowned after suffering massive heart attack, coroner reveals
Family say in statement they are 'saddened' by results but 'glad to now have closure'Whitney's mother Cissy reported to be 'shocked' to learn her daughter was using drugs at the time of her deathChief Coroner states toxicology results suggests Whitney took cocaine shortly before she diedSource claims someone removed all traces of cocaine from hotel room before authorities arrived
Traces of marijuana and prescription drugs also found in star's system but did not contribute to her death
00:30 GMT, 23 March 2012
Whitney Houston’s years of cocaine abuse led to her tragic death, it was revealed today.
The pop icon had cocaine in her system when she drowned in a hotel bathtub, according to the official report released by the Los Angeles Coroner.
She sunk into the bathwater after suffering a massive heart attack caused in part by her prolonged drug abuse.
Drug use: Cocaine was found in Whitney Houston's body when she died, according to the LA County Coroner
Following the news, Houston's family
have released a statement that says: 'We are saddened to learn of the
toxicology results, although we are glad to now have closure.'
And her mother Cissy is reported to be 'shocked' to learn that her daughter was still using drugs at the time of her death.
According to TMZ, Cissy believes the star began taking drugs again due to stress over her comeback, but thought Houston to be sober as she filmed the movie Sparkle.
The ruling is an ignominious ending to the superstar’s fall from grace.
It 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.
Tragic: The official cause of Whitney's death has been released as accidental drowning
Untimely: Whitney died in the Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 11, aged 48
WHITNEY'S TOXICOLOGY REPORT
Official cause of death was accidental drowning'An acute dose' of cocaine was found in the singer's system and factored into her deathResults suggest Whitney was a chronic cocaine userChief Coroner believes the star ingested the drug shortly before her death
Traces of marijuana, Xanax, Flexiril and Benadryl were all found but did not contribute to death
It is believed Whitney had a heart attack, fell unconscious and drowned
Heart attack may have been brought on by hardening of the arteries due to years of cocaine use
Tests did not show significant amount of alcohol in Whitney's system
Foul play and trauma did not contribute to her deathOfficial report expected to be released in two weeks
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 Ms. Houston.
He said there was 'an acute dose' of cocaine in Houston's system when she died.
Harvey added that the results indicate the star ingested cocaine 'not probably too much before she collapsed'.
Coroner’s officials said the results suggest Ms. 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 Ms 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 Ms. 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.
However a source has claimed to TMZ that all traces of the drug were removed from the hotel room before authorities arrived.
The website alleges that the person who removed the cocaine was the same person who supplied it to the star, and they also claim that other items were removed from the room, including bed sheets.
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.
Ms. Houston died just hours before she was scheduled to appear at producer Clive Davis' pre-Grammy Awards bash.
Revealing the results: Chief Coroner Craig Harvey spoke to press about Whitney's toxicology report
Last days of a diva: Whitney died at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, pictured
Drowning: Whitney's body was found in the bathtub of her hotel suite, which looked much like this
Troubled: Whitney, pictured with daughter Bobbi Kristina, had a notorious struggle with drug addiction
The singer was buried in a New Jersey cemetery next to her father after an emotional four-hour funeral service that was attended by friends, family and superstars such as Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson and Roberta Flack.
Just two days before Houston died she was photographed looking dishevelled and bleeding outside a Los Angeles nightclub.
It was also reported that she was partying with friends in the bar if the Beverly Hilton Hotel on the night before her death.
The singer admitted to using cocaine and marijuana during her turbulent 14 year marriage to Bobby Brown.
During this tumultuous time, Brown was arrested for drugs and alcohol and Houston entered drug rehabilitation programs twice.
Ms. Houston, a sensation from her first, eponymous album in 1985, was one of the world's best-selling artists from the mid-1980s to the late 1990s, turning out such hits as “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” `'How Will I Know,” `'The Greatest Love of All” and “I Will Always Love You.”
But as she struggled with drugs, her majestic voice became raspy, and she couldn't hit the high notes.
Interest in her music has skyrocketed since her death, pushing her songs back on to charts and into heavy rotation on the radio.