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Carrie Fisher had drugs in her system, autopsy shows

LOS ANGELES — Carrie Fisher had cocaine, alcohol and opiates, and MDMA, also known as ecstasy, in her system when she went into cardiac arrest while on a Los Angeles-bound flight and later died, the coroner’s office reported June 19.

On June 16, the coroner’s office had announced that Fisher, known for portraying Princess Leia Organa in “Star Wars,” died on Dec. 27 of “sleep apnea and other undetermined factors.”

In addition to sleep apnea, “atherosclerotic heart disease” and “drug use” were listed as “other conditions” discovered by the coroner’s post-mortem examination. The manner of Fisher’s death was listed as “undetermined.”

Under the heading, “How Injury Occurred,” the coroner’s office report states, “Multiple drug intake, significance not ascertained.”

The full autopsy report was released June 19, including the results of toxicological tests which showed that the 60-year-old actress and author had a cocktail of drugs in her system at the time she suffered a heart attack while on a flight from London to Los Angeles. She died days later in a hospital.

Her mother, actress Debbie Reynolds, 84, died the next day from an intracerebral hemorrhage, a ruptured blood vessel in her brain.

In a statement released June 16, Fisher’s only child, actress Billie Lourd, noted that her mother had “battled drug addiction and mental illness her entire life. She ultimately died of it.”

“She was purposefully open in all of her work about the social stigmas surrounding these diseases,” Lourd said. “She talked about the shame that torments people and their families confronted by these diseases.

“I know my mom, she’d want her death to encourage people to be open about their struggles. Seek help, fight for government funding for mental health programs. Shame and those social stigmas are the enemies of progress to solutions and ultimately a cure.”

According to the autopsy report, the toxicology testing “suggests there was an exposure to heroin, but that the dose and time of exposure cannot be pinpointed … [and] therefore we cannot establish the significance of heroin regarding the cause of death in this case.”

 

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