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Whitney Houston

Cocaine in System

At Time of Death

3/22/2012 3:50 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0220_whitney_BN_02
Whitney Houston had cocaine in her system when she died -- this according to the L.A. County Coroner.

The L.A. County Coroner has just released the singer's official cause of death -- accidental drowning ... but the report also notes heart disease and cocaine use were contributing factors to Whitney's demise.

Officials say Houston also had traces of marijuana in her system ... as well as Xanax (anxiety medication), Flexeril (muscle relaxer) and Benadryl (allergy medication).

A source connected to the investigation tells us it is "very possible" Whitney had a heart attack that caused her to lose consciousness and drown. The heart attack may have been triggered by hardening of the arteries as a result of cocaine use.

As we previously reported, Whitney was found dead in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton hotel last month and several pills were found on the scene -- including Xanax, Ibuprofen, and Midol.

Investigators found NO EVIDENCE of cocaine in the hotel room.

Law enforcement sources have told us from the beginning they did not suspect foul play -- and believe her death was not a homicide.

Her family however had doubts about Whitney's demise -- suggesting there may have been foul play.

update_bar
3:01 PM PST -- The Houston family has released a statement which says, “We are saddened to learn of the toxicology results, although we are glad to now have closure.” 

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310 COMMENTS

No Avatar
106.

Kelly    

"Accidental drowning! That proves it, Nippy was minding her own business when she drowned!" - Dionne the Enabler

840 days ago
107.

debra    

I am really sorry for u Whiney. Why didnt someone look after her instead of what her money ....regardless ...they did a terrible job at both of them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

840 days ago
108.

Asante    

Its sad but no matter what she will always be my idol. She was only human and had issues as we ALL do. Our issues may not be the same as hers but we ALL have them. There is no perfect person. I truly hate that though. She will truly be missed.

840 days ago
109.

Lucy Lui    

I was not suprised her whole family was on drugs. Gary Houston, Dionne Warwick, her dad, on an on.. This is sad that she died but where was her side kick Pat??? or her daughter????? or her bodyguard??? or even her aunt Mary?? all are goldiggers and skanks

840 days ago
110.

Cielo    

I'm wondeing what her enablers partying friends will say now. " This is a complete shok" Yeah right.

840 days ago
111.

Sarah    

Also to the vile, disgusting comments about this woman you all should be ashamed of yourselves. Yes I agree its stupid to take drugs but to wish this on her is cruel. This woman was on loads of pressure since she first came out to be perfect and be everything she wasn't some people can deal with it some cant and unfortunately she couldn't and obviously took the drugs to block everything that was going on in her life. Also all the hangers on like her nasty ex husband who actually got her on drugs in the first place and these so called friends didn't help her. Stop judging her and have some compassion.

840 days ago
112.

Fuva    

"Cocaine use...contributing factor"? What vague language. Was it RECENT cocaine use? Someone previously addicted to cocaine, who completely kicks the habit, can still die in the future from heart disease caused by the previous addiction...What's the story here?

840 days ago
113.

Mr Objectivity    

Tragic really. What's more "Whack than Crack"? Having a relationship with and then marrying Bobby Brown. He put her on the death train 20 years ago. But she's no victim. Had she been a better, stronger person in life she never would have settled for that low life loser. May she RIP

840 days ago
114.

Paul Felix Schott    

It was murder homicide by the drug cartels.
If you see drugs call the news and the law and email it to all that you know that are good let us all help put an end to drugs.

The Lord's Little Helper
Paul Felix Schott

840 days ago
115.

KENDRA    

Wow finally someone has told us! I get scared to take tylenol let alone all of that stuff mixed together! Wow that is nuts.

840 days ago
116.

Lisa Ward    

The white powder made from the leaves of the coca plant triggers the release of dopamine (a chemical that brings information to the nervous system), then prevents its reabsorption. While users of the illegal drug report euphoria, confidence and clarity, it can also cause permanent heart damage and heart attack.

Cocaine -- whether snorted, smoked or injected -- affects the heart by causing increased or irregular heartbeat and constricted blood vessels. These conditions can lead to several serious or even fatal outcomes:
•Heart attack, cardiac arrest and sudden death
•Myocarditis, or heart muscle damage leading to heart failure
•Endocarditis, or inflammation of the heart lining
•Vascular thrombosis, or clots in the coronary arteries
•Pulmonary edema, or fluid in the lungs
•Dilated cardiomyopathy, or enlarged heart

While those with heart disease are particularly susceptible to these consequences, they can easily occur in someone with no history of coronary difficulty.

Making a Bad Situation Worse

As harmful as cocaine use is for the heart, it's even worse when combined with cigarettes and alcohol. Cocaine and smoking each exacerbate the other's ability to elevate the heart rate and constrict blood vessels. Cocaine paired with alcohol prompts the liver to make cocaethylene, a substance that steps up cocaine's potential to cause heart strain and sudden death.

Cocaine usually impacts the heart within 18 hours of use, but its effects may be seen immediately or up to four days later. Signs of heart problems caused by cocaine use often include chest pain, trouble breathing, anxiety, palpitations, dizziness and nausea.

Medical personnel need to know when cocaine is involved in a heart-related situation as the presence of the drug can change the course of treatment. Intravenous benzodiazepines -- not given in other heart emergencies -- can minimize cocaine's stimulation and therefore its heart-damaging effects.

Those who stop using cocaine are less likely to experience subsequent heart problems related to the drug. Group therapy in tandem with individual counseling has the greatest chance of helping someone kick a cocaine addiction.

Sources:

"Cocaine and Heart Damage." healthlink.mcw.edu. 4 Nov. 2004. Medical
This can say it much more eloquently than I can...Harvey is has been long known by cardio-thorasic surgeons and cardiologists that cocaine can hurt you permantly

840 days ago
117.

Tonya    

I told you Oprah Winfrey it was to early to interview the Houston Family. Your TV. NetWork should be banned off the air. They just found out that it was cocaine in her system. Now all Whitneys Fans and the Family are very sad of hearing that!!!

840 days ago
118.

stef    

Not surprised.....but DAMN DAMN DAMN!!!!!!

840 days ago
119.

Al    

All this talk of cocaine yet no one mentions crack cocaine. All they had to do is throw away her pipe.

840 days ago
120.

Nate    

am i reading the same story...headline reads cocaine in her system. the report says toxicology reports show cocaine was not in her system but other stuff...get it together TMZ

840 days ago
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