Initial autopsy results on Houston indicated that the pop star died of drowning, and effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use.
Yesterday, the full coroner's report concerning the late singer's death revealed a similar conclusion, detailing that Houston was found nude in the bathtub of her hotel room at the Beverly Hilton hotel lying in "extremely hot water" with yellow-brown colored markings on and around her left eyebrow and nose.
Additionally, drug paraphernalia was found in the room including one small spoon with a white crystal-like substance, one open bottle of ibuprofen and one white rolled up piece of paper.
While accidental drowning remains the ultimate conclusion reached in Houston's death, forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht believes that the drugs (both prescription and otherwise) should take center stage to her death—as they contributed to her fall into the tub, leading to her untimely demise.
"The unconsciousness, in my opinion was due to the drugs," he begins. "Xanax, an anti-depressant, Flexeril, a powerful muscular skeletal relaxant …and Benadryl, an antihistamine…produce some mental obfuscation. Taking those three drugs together, even though they were not in high levels, but acting in concert they could have produced that state of diminishing consciousness causing her then to become unconscious and fall into the water."
Wecht continues, " I don't think that there was any heart attack which is what the medical examiner's office has suggested led to this drowning."
Lending his 45+ years of experience to ETonline, Wecht hopes to raise awareness towards the abuse of prescription medication which, he believes, has grown into an epidemic in Hollywood and across the United States. The silver lining, if you can call it that, remains that her tragic death will likely shine a much-needed light on the problem.