A newly released autopsy report from the Los Angeles County coroner’s office said author-actress Carrie Fisher had drugs in her system at the time of her death.
“Urine toxicology on admission to the hospital was positive for cocaine, methadone, ethanol, and opiates,” the report noted. Her bile tested positive for methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), commonly known as the recreational drug Ecstasy, and for morphine, while her liver tested positive for morphine, methadone, the painkiller meperidine (brand name Demerol), the antidepressant fluoxetine (brand names include Prozac and arafem), and an over-the-counter antihistamine.
“However,” the report cautioned, “limited toxicology specimens were available. Based on the available toxicological information, limited history of present illness, [and] lack of correlating and medical observation, there are significant limitations in one’s ability to interpret the toxicology results and their contribution to cause of death.”
Fisher’s brother, Todd Fisher, 59, told The Associated Press on Friday that “there’s certainly no news that Carrie did drugs.” Aside from any others she may have ingested, Fisher was prescribed medication for her bipolar disorder, which she had discussed publicly.
“Scream Queens” star Billie Lourd, 24, Carrie Fisher’s only child, told People magazine in a statement Friday, “My mom 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. She talked about the shame that torments people and their families confronted by these diseases.”
She added, “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.”
While Carrie Fisher’s death certificate in January listed the cause of her death as cardiac arrest with underlying cause undetermined, the autopsy results say she died of “sleep apnea and other undetermined factors.” Apnea has been linked to cardiovascular death in medical studies. Fisher had taken ill during a flight from London to Los Angeles on Dec. 23 and died four days later at age 60.
Fisher had shot her scenes as Gen. Leia Organa in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” and will appear posthumously in that film, being released in December.