Transcript for Carrie Fisher had combination of drugs in system: Coroner's report
We're going to talk about revelations about Carrie fisher's death and the coroner's report showing the actress had a combination of drugs in her system and ABC's kayna Whitworth has more. Good morning, kayna. Reporter: Hey, Michael. Good morning. It was devastating news for her friends and family to learn multiple drugs including ecstasy were found in her system. A coroner saying this relapse along with other factors could have played a role in her death. Nearly seven months since Carrie fisher's sudden death. The Los Angeles county medical examiner releasing the coroner's report revealing fisher had a number of drugs in her system before she died including cocaine, heroin and ecstasy. The report listing the 60-year-old's official cause of death as sleep apnea and other undetermined factors including heart disease and drug use. Noting however they could not establish the significance of the multiple substances with regard to the cause of death. Okay, fine. Yes, I am an addict. Reporter: For years fisher struggled with addiction and mental illness, something she opened up about in her memoir and one-woman show "Wishful drinking." You know how they say religion is the opioid for the masses. People used to ask me after I got sober, so are you happy now? And I would say among other things, happy one of the many things, many emotions I'll go through in a day. You're not just skipping around spouting hallmark cards but, yeah, I'm in a much better place. Reporter: Known for her most iconic role as princess Leia. Happen has to save our skins. Fisher's only daughter Billy lourd telling ABC news her mother ultimately died from her battles with addiction and mental illness saying she talked about the same that torments people and their families confronted by these diseases. I know my mom. She'd want her death to encourage people to be open about their struggles. Coroner's report indicated cocaine would have been consumed within 72 hours of her flight. I want to show you a picture. The actress seen gracing the cover of this month's "Vanity fair" and this is the head of the release of the latest "Star wars" installment. The last jedi and of course Michael and David she completed filming that last summer. All right, thank you, kayna, for that. Now we are joined by Dr. Jennifer Ashton and Dr. Drew Pinsky and thank you for joining us, Dr. Drew, I'll start with you. Carrie fisher, she battled drug addiction her entire life and put it out for everyone to know but seemed as if she was clean. What was your reaction when you saw the report? I mean my -- first of all was this is another tragedy. It's another wonderful individual taken by this terrible disease but that it's a cutting, poweringful baffling disease and chronic and even though someone has had long-term successful sobriety can have a recurrence and can be fatal easily. Thinking about her daughter who put out the statement and Dr. Jen was talking about the sleep apnea which couldn't have obviously have been helped by the addition of the drugs. Definitely not. You have to understand sleep apnea is I collapse of the upper airway that causes someone to stop breathing for a few seconds many, many times during the course of when they're sleeping. The way to look at it over time as a chronic and chronic condition it can cause heart disease and increase the size of the heart and affects the blood vessels and high pressure and increased risk of death but a good way to look at it, sleep apnea as a con trick condition was the kindling wood, if you will on a fire, the drugs and substances that were in her system could be the gasoline and together that caused the -- Yeah, absolutely. The report lists a cocktail of drugs found in her system, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy. What can this combination do to your system? Well, I mean, you know, we would have to take a while to describe all the potential medical effects but the main issue that contributes to this is the opioids particularly heroin, we've been reporting a lot about fentanyl and oral open yads combined with benzodiazepines can cause a suppression of breathing and the oxygen is cut off to their brain and something like that is almost what undoubtedly happened. I want to add the troubling thing other than what Dr. Drew is talking about with a relapse of someone who battled substance abuse is the fact that the actual full autopsy report was even released in it's entirety to the public. I have a huge problem. She may be a world famous actress but she is an individual patient. Patient privacy in my opinion has to come first. I don't think we need an autopsy report with searches to get it out. You could have said substances shall sleep apnea and I think it was unprofessional. I'm sure her family would appreciate that. Tiger Woods is speaking professional help after that arrest over memorial day weekend for the medications he was taking for back pain and the sleep disorder. What kind of treatment do you expect to see in a case like this? Well, it's sort of one directions. Again, we're merely speculating because we don't have the details of what hackettly is going on with him but it looks like he is a chronic pain patient. There's rumors of him get nothing a chronic pain problem. If he has an addictive process it gets complicated and the kinds of treatment is either a replacement and the fact he was treated for a behavioral addiction means abstinence would be both. Whichever he is it requires a lot of professional intervention over a long period of time. At least he's seeking help. That's the important part. Doc, thank you. You bet.
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