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Coroner Says Cocaine Use Contributed To Whitney Houston's Death

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Cocaine was found in Whitney Houston's system when she died, according to the final report from the Los Angeles County Coroner's office.

The report, which was released Thursday, determined Houston's final cause of death to be from drowning, the effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine intake. The report said that her manner of death was an accident.

A toxicology report found that cocaine and metabolites were identified in Houston's system and contributed to her death. Other drugs, including marijuana, Xanax, Flexeril and Benadryl were also identified, but did not contribute to Houston's death, according to the report.

Houston, 48, was found submerged in a bathtub filled with water in her Beverly Hilton hotel room on Feb. 11, the day before the Grammys.

No trauma or foul play was suspected, the report concludes. A bad heart and chronic cocaine abuse were the likely causes for Houston to become submerged in the bath water, said the report.

Patricia Houston, the singer's sister-in-law and manager, said in a statement, "We are saddened to learn of the toxicology results, although we are glad to now have closure."

The coroner previously confirmed that prescription pill bottles were found in her room, but "not in alarming amounts," according to Cocaine was not found in Houston's hotel room.

Houston reportedly ingested cocaine just before she slipped under the water, according to the findings. "We know that when she slipped under the water, she was still alive. We have evidence of drowning. There was water in the lungs and that substantiates that finding."

The report says alcohol did not play a factor in Houston's death.

Assistant Coroner Chief Ed Winter said the precise amounts of toxins found in Houston's body will be available in the final report, which is expected to be completed in about two weeks.

Houston had a long history of substance abuse problems. She and then-husband Bobby Brown were arrested in 2000 at a Hawaii airport with marijuana.

The singer was last in rehab in May 2011, but was reportedly seen in the days before her death acting erratically.

The coroner's office concluded if Houston didn't have a preexisting heart condition and history of cocaine use "she may not have drowned."

It remains unclear if detectives are looking to identify the supplier of Houston's cocaine.


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