Nightly News | March 22, 2012
>> we mentioned this at the top of the broadcast, after weeks of speculati speculation, tonight, we learned what killed whitney houston . the cause was accidental drowning complicating by cocaine and heart disease . there were other drugs found in the system including xanax, marijuana, benadryl, and other, but they didn't contribute to our death. we have reached our chief medical expert by phone tonight. nancy, i heard the medical examiner quoted as saying, she had a heart ataturk aggravated by cocaine while in the bathtub, plain and simple.
>> this is a classic examiple of the pain of addition, and you don't have to have one massive drug in your system. she really has a cumulative issue. underlying heart disease , most probably from cigarette smoking and smoking marijuana, and then the lethal combination of alcohol, xanax, ben drl, all depressants, and all of those things together when you slip into a hot bathtub, can be enough to slide under the water, and then drown. so the coroner is causing the cause of death accidental drowning, but when you decrease the respiratory rate with all of those medications, it really is one problem precipitating the other. and the real concern here is obviously, as an addict, as someone who was treated before for an addiction, there are doctors, family, friends, who could have helped deny access to the medications. but what concerns me is that this is the new face of drug addiction and death caused by a lethal cocktail. and in most cases like this, obviously, heart breaking and preventable.
>> nancy, thank you. dr. nancy snyderman on this coroner's report just out in l.a.