Carrie Fisher Tested Positive For Drugs At Time Of Death
This story was originally published in USA Today
Carrie Fisher had a combination of drugs, including cocaine, heroin and ecstasy, in her system at the time of her death, according to the final autopsy report released Monday by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office.
The toxicology report states that Fisher, 60, tested positive for “cocaine, methadone, ethanol and opiates.”
But the coroner’s office was unable to determine exactly what role the drugs played in Fisher’s death on Dec. 27, which followed a lengthy flight from London to Los Angeles. The Star Wars actress was hospitalized for four days after she fell ill on the Dec. 23 United Airlines flight.
“There are significant limitations in one’s ability to interpret the toxicology results and their contribution to cause of death,” according to the report.
The official cause of Fisher’s death was listed as “sleep apnea and other undetermined factors.” A news release Friday indicated that drugs were found in Fisher’s system, but no details were given.
“Ms. Fisher suffered what appeared to be a cardiac arrest on the airplane, accompanied by vomiting and with a history of sleep apnea. Based on the available toxicological information, we cannot establish the significance of the multiple substances that were detected in Ms. Fisher’s blood and tissue, with regard to the cause of death,” the report says.
Fisher had long battled drug addiction and mental illness. She said she smoked pot at age 13, used LSD by 21 and was diagnosed as bipolar at 24. She was treated with electroshock therapy and medication.
The cocaine was found on the day Fisher was hospitalized, according to the report, which said the exposure had taken place “sometime approximately in the last 72 hours.”
Further tests showed “exposure to heroin” but the dose and time could not be pinpointed. “Therefore, we cannot establish the significance of heroin regarding the death in this case.”
The toxicology results also showed “remote exposure” to the recreational drug MDMA, also known as ecstasy. Because the time of exposure couldn’t be determined, the significance couldn’t be established in her death.
The coroner’s office declined to comment further on the report.
Todd Fisher told the Associated Press on Friday that he wasn’t surprised to hear drugs may have contributed to his sister’s death.
“There’s certainly no news that Carrie did drugs,” he said and noted that his sister wrote extensively about her drug use. Many drugs she took were prescribed by doctors to treat her mental health conditions, he said.
“I am not shocked that part of her health was affected by drugs.”