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Whitney Houston Cause of Death: Drowning, Drugs

Whitney Houston passed out in her bathtub, slipped under the water and drowned, the Los Angeles County’s Coroner’s said today, announcing the results for a long-awaited toxicology test.

The official cause of death was attributed to “drowning and effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use,” the office said, ruling the death “accidental.”

Houston, 48, was found submerged in a tub of water on the afternoon of Feb. 11, just hours before she was set to appear at a pre-Grammy party hosted by her long-time mentor Clive Davis at the Beverly Hilton Hotel where she was staying.

Based on the toxicology report, the coroner concluded that “cocaine and metabolites were identified and were contributory to the death.” By metabolites the coroner meant that cocaine was found in her system and had been all or partially metabolized by her body.

Traces of “marijuana, Alprazolam (Xanax), Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) and Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) were also found in her system but did not contribute to the death,” the report said.

At the time of her death, the coroner said there wasn’t enough water in her lungs to attribute her death to drowning. No reason was given for the change of opinion.

There also was no word on whether Houston had alcohol in her system. She was thought to have been drinking the night before and was seen drinking apparent alcoholic beverages by the pool.

There were no indications of foul play and no obvious signs of trauma on Houston’s body. Prescription pill bottles were found in her room, but the number of pills were “not in alarming amounts,” said officials.

Cousin Dionne Warwick said earlier this month she suspected Houston died of a “heart attack.” Cardiac arrest is more likely, caused by the use of drugs.

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