Final Report on Whitney Houston's Death Released

By Valerie Tejeda 04/05/12

A cocaine-induced seizure seems the main culprit, possibly combined with withdrawal from alcohol and Xanax.

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Whitney Houston may have suffered a seizure brought on by cocaine use, according to the the final autopsy report released yesterday. On March 22, the Los Angeles County coroner initially ruled the singer’s death as accidental drowning, with heart disease and cocaine use as contributing factors. After examining the autopsy report, TV addiction specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky suggests that a cocaine-induced seizure may have been combined with withdrawal from alcohol and Xanax. "To me, a sudden drop off in the Xanax level, a drop off in your alcohol consumption, add cocaine, that's a recipe for a seizure," he says. "Somebody who's now upside down in a bathtub could easily seize and drown." Empty beer bottles as well as an empty bottle of Xanax were found in Houston's room, but the level of sedative found in her blood was low. Also found in her room were "a small spoon with a white crystal like substance in it and a rolled up piece of white paper.” Coroner's investigator Kristy McCracken wrote, "I also collected remnants of a white powdery substance from out of a drawer and from the bottom of a mirror in the same drawer in the bathroom counter." The final coroner's report notes that the 48-year-old had several small scald burns on her face at the time of her death, and drowned face down in a tub of "extremely hot water" about 12 inches deep.

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Entertainment journalist and author Valerie Tejeda spends her days reporting on books, television, and all things pertaining to pop culture, and spends her nights writing novels for teens. Her stories have appeared on a variety of different publications, including but not limited to: VanityFair, MTV, The Huffington Post, TeenVogue, She Knows, Latina, The Fix,, Cosmopolitan, and more. You can find Valerie on Linkedin and Twitter.