Marijuana and prescription drugs not responsible for Whitney Houston's death

Anissa Ford's picture

Whitney Houston did not die of a drug overdose, she accidentally drowned and her drowning is a direct result of cocaine use and atherosclerosis or heart disease, the Los Angeles coroner ruled today.

The levels of substances found in Whitney Houston's body at the time of her death are not available yet. Although the coroner's office promised to deliver the results of the amount of cocaine in Houston's bloodstream next week.

But so far, Whitney Houston's death is ruled as a drowning. It has been ruled that Whitney Houston's had a heart disease but her official cause of death is drowning.

When Houston's death was announced to the public, it was reported that Houston had been in the bathroom for an hour before her staff and security team checked in on her and discovered her lifeless body. Coroner's reports suggest that there is every possibility that Houston did not die immediately. Medical expert Dr. Sanjay Gupta said it's likely the singer had a heart attack (the result of heart disease), lapsed into unconsciousness, and then drowned because she slipped underwater.

The coroner reported a number of metabolites in Houston’s bloodstream: marijuana, Xanax (anti anxiety), Flexeril (muscle relaxer), and Benadryl. However, none of those metabolites are officially responsible for Houston’s death in a Beverly Hills hotel bathtub on Feb 12.

The coroner’s office determined that the presence of these drugs were not significant enough to cause Houston’s heart to stop. This, however, does not mean the presence of those metabolites had ill or adverse effects on Houston’s body.

Houston's family released a brief statement after the toxicology report was released:

"We are saddened to learn of the toxicology reports although we are glad to have closure."

Whitney Houston suffered from atherosclerosis, a heart disease characterized by hardening of the arteries. Whitney Houston also used cocaine which also constricts the blood vessels and can cut off blood circulation which doubles the risk of a heart attack.

Medical experts repeatedly state that Houston had a heart attack that was prompted by cocaine use and an already present heart condition.

But having a heart attack, in Houston's case is not the equivalent of a fatal drug overdose. Atherosclerosis may be genetic or it may have been the result of a sedative lifestyle that needs exercise and a rigorous diet to combat.

Experts believe Whitney’s heart didn’t get enough blood flow due to the heart disease and cocaine. She likely lapsed into a period of unconsciousness and drowned. The heart muscle doesn’t die immediately in such cases, but Houston ‘s staff didn’t check on the singer in the bathroom until she’d been in there for an hour.

Coroner's likely began with the immediately clear evidence, that Houston drowned, and then worked their way backwards with toxicology reports and substances found in the singer's body.

Even though fans and family may be disappointed with the number of toxic substances and prescription meds revealed after toxicology, it's important to note that the coroner's office has not linked any of them to Houston's death.

Analysts are also using Whitney Houston's death as a reminder to communities and families not to ignore addiction, but talk about it rather than pretend it does not exist, regardless of class, race, ethnicity, education, etc.

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