Carrie Fisher's Toxicology Report Reveals a Huge Crisis

The newly released toxicology report on Actor Carrie Fisher's December 2016 death comes as a reminder that drug addiction doesn't have an age limit.

carrie fisher

While Fisher was open about her earlier struggle with addiction, a toxicology report released Monday revealed that she carried that disease through her last days. She tested positive for heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, and other opiates, The Associated Press reported on Monday.

Investigators weren't able to determine what role the drug combination played in her death, but the report stated that Fisher "suffered what appeared to be a cardiac arrest... accompanied by vomiting and with a history of sleep apnea." 

Family members said they weren't surprised to learn that Fisher had drugs in her system around the time of her death.

"I would tell you, from my perspective that there’s certainly no news that Carrie did drugs," her brother Todd Fisher told the AP on Friday after a coroner's report first indicated drugs played a role in Fisher's death. "I am not shocked that part of her health was affected by drugs."

In a statement released on Friday, Fisher's daughter Billie Lourd said her mother "battled drug addiction and mental illness her entire life" and "ultimately died of it."

She added:

"She was purposefully open in all of her work about the social stigmas surrounding these diseases. She talked about the shame 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. Seek help, fight for government funding for mental health programs. Shame and those social stigmas are the enemies of progress to solutions and ultimately a cure."

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), about 8 million Americans suffered from both a drug addiction and mental illness in 2014—conditions that are known to exacerbate one another.

"Because of this, and because of variation in symptoms even within one type of disorder, individual situations and symptoms are extremely varied," SAMHSA reported.

Or, in other words, people who suffer from addiction don't fit any single stereotype or always fall into specific demographics, as Fisher's death exemplifies.