Im­pact of drugs un­known

Co­caine among drugs found in Carrie Fisher’s sys­tem

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - BY AN­THONY MCCART­NEY

Carrie Fisher’s au­topsy re­port shows the ac­tress had co­caine in her sys­tem when she fell ill on a plane last year, but in­ves­ti­ga­tors could not de­ter­mine what im­pact the co­caine and other drugs found in her sys­tem had on her death.

The re­port re­leased Mon­day states Fisher may have taken co­caine three days be­fore the Dec. 23 flight on which she be­came ill. She died four days later.

It also found traces of heroin, other opi­ates and MDMA, which is also known as ec­stasy, but that they could not de­ter­mine when Fisher had taken those drugs. The find­ings were based on tox­i­col­ogy screen­ings done on sam­ples taken when the “Star Wars’’ ac­tress ar­rived at a Los Angeles hos­pi­tal.

Coro­ner’s of­fi­cials ruled Fisher died from sleep ap­nea and a com­bi­na­tion of other fac­tors. A news re­lease is­sued Fri­day men­tioned drugs were found in Fisher’s sys­tem, but it did not pro­vide de­tails.

Mon­day’s full re­port con­tains a de­tailed ex­pla­na­tion of the re­sults, such as why in­ves­ti­ga­tors be­lieve Fisher took co­caine at least three days be­fore her flight.

“At this time the sig­nif­i­cance of co­caine can­not be es­tab­lished in this case,’’ the re­port states.

It also states that while heroin is de­tectable in the sys­tem for a briefer pe­riod of time, in­ves­ti­ga­tors could not de­ter­mine when Fisher took it or the ec­stasy. Tox­i­col­ogy tests also found other opi­ates in Fisher’s sys­tem, in­clud­ing mor­phine, although the re­port states the mor­phine could have been a byprod­uct of heroin.

“Ms. Fisher suf­fered what ap­peared to be a car­diac ar­rest on the air­plane ac­com­pa­nied by vom­it­ing and with a his­tory of sleep ap­nea. Based on the avail­able tox­i­co­log­i­cal in­for­ma­tion, we can­not es­tab­lish the sig­nif­i­cance of the mul­ti­ple sub­stances that were de­tected in Ms. Fisher’s blood and tis­sue, with re­gard to the cause of death,’’ the re­port states.

Among the fac­tors that con­trib­uted to Fisher’s death was buildup of fatty tis­sue in the walls of her ar­ter­ies, the coro­ner’s of­fice said last week.

A phone mes­sage left for Fisher’s brother, Todd, was not im­me­di­ately re­turned.

Todd Fisher said Fri­day he was not sur­prised that drugs may have con­trib­uted to his sis­ter’s death.

“I would tell you, from my per­spec­tive that there’s cer­tainly no news that Carrie did drugs,’’ Todd Fisher said. He noted his sis­ter wrote ex­ten­sively about her drug use and that many of the drugs she took were pre­scribed by doc­tors to try to treat her men­tal health con­di­tions.

Fisher long bat­tled drug ad­dic­tion and men­tal ill­ness. She said she smoked pot at 13, used LSD by 21 and was di­ag­nosed with bipo­lar dis­or­der at 24. She was treated with elec­troshock ther­apy and med­i­ca­tion.

“I am not shocked that part of her health was af­fected by drugs,’’ Todd Fisher said.

He said his sis­ter’s heart con­di­tion was prob­a­bly wors­ened by her smok­ing habit, as well as the med­i­ca­tions she took.

“If you want to know what killed her, it’s all of it,’’ he said.

AP PHOTO

This file photo shows Carrie Fisher at the 2011 Newnownext Awards in Los Angeles. A coro­ner’s re­port re­leased on Mon­day shows Fisher had co­caine, ec­stasy and heroin in her sys­tem when she be­came ill on a London to Los Angeles flight in De­cem­ber.

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