Whitney Houston’s official cause of death: drowning, heart disease and cocaine use


View Photo Gallery: Whitney Houston, who reigned as pop music’s queen until her majestic voice and regal image were tainted by drug use, erratic behavior and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown, has died.

The cause of singer Whitney Houston’s death has been determined.

The L.A. County Coroner’s office issued a toxicology report this afternoon that said the official cause of the pop diva’s death was “drowning and effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use.”

Under the section “How injury occurred,” the report — issued to multiple media outlets, including the Post — stated: “found submerged in bathtub filled with water; cocaine intake.” The manner of death was deemed accidental.

Houston died at the age of 48 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Feb. 11, a night when she was expected to appear at Clive Davis’s annual pre-Grammy party.

Given Houston’s previous, publicly acknowledged addictions, speculation immediately arose about the role drugs may have played in her passing. This report confirmed that they were indeed a factor.

In addition to cocaine, the toxicology report states that other drugs — illegal, prescription and over-the-counter — also were found in Houston’s system.

“Cocaine and metabolites were identified and were contributory to the death,” the document states. “Marijuana, alprazolam (Xanax), cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) and diphenhydramine (Benadryl) were identified but did not contribute to the death.”

Houston was buried on Feb. 19, the day after a funeral service at which friends and colleagues including Kevin Costner, Tyler Perry and Davis paid tribute to her. During his eulogy, Davis indicated that Houston was healthier and working toward recovering her once-stadium-filling vocal powers.

“Clive,” her mentor recalled her telling him just a week before her death, “I’ll be ready by August.”

When she isn’t at a movie theater or writing about movies, Jen Chaney is ... um ... probably at home, watching a movie.

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