Before she was discovered dead by her personal assistant in a Beverly Hills Hotel bathtub, Whitney Houston had been submerged underwater for over an hour. Now, the final autopsy reports have been released to the public, confirming what was widely speculated. At the time of her death, Whitney Houston had a large quantity of cocaine in her system. The report also states that the singer may have been experiencing heart trouble before she passed. Although the untimely death was shocking, many were not surprised, as Whitney Houston struggled with substance abuse issues throughout her life.
Houston was last seen alive by one of her assistants at around 3:00pm on the day she died. She had complained of a sore throat and had been told by her assistant to go and take a bath to prepare for the Grammy party she was set to perform at that night. After going to the mall to pick up a few items, the assistant returned to Whitney’s room about 45 minutes later to discover the singer unresponsive in the bathtub. Immediately, she called out to Ms. Houston’s bodyguard, who called the front desk, who then called 911.
Investigators on the scene found evidence to suggest there had been cocaine present in the suite in the form of a white, crystalized residue, as well as a rolled up piece of paper. Even after hearing this damning testimony, people were reluctant to jump to conclusions. However, many people knew Houston had a drug addiction that she had battled on and off for years. In addition to cocaine, coroners also found marijuana, Xanax, Flexeril (a muscle relaxant), and Benadryl in the singer’s system.
The head coroner on the case, Craig Harvey, stated that the findings during the autopsy “suggested chronic usage” of cocaine. “She could have had a heart attack” he said. This scenario seems very plausible as it is uncommon for a healthy individual to just die while taking a bath. The demise of Whitney Houston is an all too familiar ending for celebrities with drug addictions. The pressures of fame, extrapolated by the fact that she had a preexisting heart condition, and a drug addiction, proved too much for her to handle any longer.
In this day and age of the 24 hour news cycle, we will soon move on from this story and on to another, more salacious tale of fame, addiction, and death. However, we do so, as a society, at our own peril. If we continue to be fascinated by the spectacle of it all, rather than learn from the lessons at the heart of the matter, we are doomed to continue seeing people who are, by their own admission, in trouble with dangerous substances die at an alarming rate. We should remember Whitney Houston for her amazing voice and talent, certainly, but also for the fact that she was human and that drug addiction can affect anyone. Addiction does not care how much money you have in the bank, or how many sold out concerts you have performed. Without treatment, an addiction to drugs will, either literally or metaphorically, leave you empty.
Tags: Addiction, cocaine, cocaine abuse, cocaine addiction, cocaine effects, drug abuse, drug addiction, history of cocaine, Whitney Houston