Carrie Fisher as General Leia

More details have begun to surface regarding the death of Carrie Fisher. When the Star Wars actress died last December it was a shock to everyone, but this new news is even more heartbreaking. The autopsy report shows that Carrie Fisher had drugs in her system at the time of her death. Most notably, cocaine was present which the actress may have taken only three days before she fell ill. In addition, traces of MDMA and heroin were also found, though it's unknown at what point those drugs might have entered her system.

While the drugs were found due to a toxicology screening that was done as part of Carrie Fisher's autopsy, they are not listed as a cause of death. The coroner could apparently find no conclusive evidence that the cocaine, or any other drugs, contributed directly to the actress' death. The cause of death has been officially ruled as sleep apnea and a combination of other factors.

Carrie Fisher made little secret of her battles with alcohol and drugs throughout life. She wrote more than one book about her own life in which she was fairly honest about her personal history. Her one-woman show Wishful Drinking became a book and a film which told the story of those battles. In addition, Fisher struggled with mental illness, which led to additional drugs being prescribed for her. According to the Associated Press, Fisher's drug use began early, with her smoking pot at age 13 and using LSD by 21.

While drugs may not be conclusively linked to her death, it's not difficult to see how drugs may be part of the nebulous "other factors" that are referenced in the autopsy report. Even if any recent drugs in her system did not contribute directly, her previous history certainly would have had long-term consequences for her body that could have impacted her death last year.

We'll never know the details of how, why, or when, these drugs came into her system. In the end, this is just another heartbreaking chapter in the death of a beloved film icon. Princess Leia, later General Leia, is one of the greatest characters in film history, and Carrie Fisher loved to be her as much as fans loved to see her on screen. We'll have one final opportunity to do just that when Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrives in theaters December 15. It's still not clear exactly how Fisher's death will impact the production of Star Wars: Episode IX.

The loss of Carrie Fisher is a sad event regardless of the reasons. In the end, this will change very little. We knew who Carrie Fisher was, and her fans loved her because of it.

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