Carrie Fisher's autopsy reveals drugs

LOS ANGELES • Carrie Fisher tested positive for cocaine, methadone, ethanol and opiates when she was admitted to the hospital four days before her death in December last year, a toxicology report released on Monday by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner showed.

But the coroner's office said it could not determine the role of the drugs in her death, which it said last Friday was caused by sleep apnea and a combination of other factors, including heart disease.

Fisher, who gained fame for her portrayal of Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise, was 60 when she died on Dec 27 in Los Angeles, after collapsing on a flight from London four days earlier.

The toxicology report said she suffered from "other conditions" at the time of death, including heart disease and drug use.

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She was also receiving therapy for bipolar disorder.

"Ms Fisher suffered what appeared to be a cardiac arrest on the airplane, accompanied by vomiting and with a history of sleep apnea," the report said.

"Based on the available toxicological information, we cannot establish the significance of the multiple substances that were detected in her blood and tissue, with regard to the cause of death."

Fisher had long battled substance abuse and mental illness, two topics which featured in her writing, such as the thinly-veiled autobiographical novel Postcards From The Edge as well as a memoir and one- woman show - both titled Wishful Drinking.

NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 21, 2017, with the headline 'Carrie Fisher's autopsy reveals drugs'. Print Edition | Subscribe