Carrie Fisher: Toxicology Report Complicates Cause of Death
Honestly, tweeting “mom” at celebrities has lost its magic since the ultimate Space Mom, Carrie Fisher, died last December.
We’re continuing to learn more about the beloved actress’ cause of death.
And now we know the results of her toxicology report and it’s a bit of a doozy.
While Carrie Fisher was initially reported as having suffered a heart attack — most deaths and the problems that lead up to them are technically cardiac events of some sort — we’ve had many more details since then.
Just a couple of days ago, we learned that Carrie Fisher died of sleep apnea and other issues, including a tissue buildup within her arteries.
But remember how the autopsy, to no one’s surprise, mentioned that she had signs of drug use.
Cue the collective gasp.
Carrie Fisher was very open about her decades-long struggle with addiction as well as her struggle with mental illness.
But now we know more details.
According to the full autopsy and toxicology report, Carrie Fisher had cocaine, morphine, codeine, and oxycodone in her system.
Now … that doesn’t mean that she’d taken all four at once.
A lot of people medicate in some form or another before getting on an airplane.
Or while on the plane, for that matter.
But for an addict, even a little bit of certain things — even legal medications — can be too much.
You may have looked at that list of drugs and thought to yourself that one of those things is not like the others.
And you’re right.
Carrie’s been pretty upfront about her coke use.
That can be a peril at any time, but a troubled celebrity in the 1980s would have had an especially hard time avoiding it.
While chronic cocaine use can gradually turn people into worse versions of themselves (yes, really), Carrie managed to be an absolute darling to the end.
It’s important to note that sleep apnea with some drugs in your system is not the same thing as a drug overdose.
Ultimately, we know all that we need to know:
That she died in moonlight, strangled by her own bra.
That is how Carrie Fisher hoped that others would remember her death, as she stated years ago in her one-woman show, Wishful Drinking.
The line refers to how George Lucas had told her during filming of Star Wars: A New Hope that she couldn’t wear a bra under her Princess Leia costume.
His reasoning was convoluted but the idea being that the human body would expand in space but that bras would not.
It was the ’70s, folks.
Carrie’s death reminds us that the opioid epidemic is real and it’s not just something that impacts the poor.
It can strike people of every economic level and social status.
It also reminds us that addiction can be a lifelong battle.
Some people can drink or not drink whenever they like.
Other people can’t take a sip without drinking a whole bottle.
It’s so easy to look at someone as having chosen an overdose for themselves the moment that they started using a substance.
But the truth is a lot more complicated.
Carrie Fisher’s death caused mourning all across the globe.
Her mother, Debbie Reynolds, died the very next day.
While the world reeled from that pair of losses, no one could have felt it more acutely than Billie Lourd, Carrie’s daughter and Debbie’s grandmother.
Carrie left behind Gary Fisher, her beloved emotional support dog, who was and remains widely beloved by her fans.
December was when we went from “Billie Lourd seems lovely” to full on ride-or-die for her.
And for Gary.
To compound the tragedy, Carrie Fisher was reportedly greatly looking forward to filming Star Wars: Episode IX.
She will be featured in Episode VIII, so we’re just going to go ahead and bring tissues with us into the theater for both films.
Some people are going to use her toxicology report to shame her, even in death.
Because some people are just unrepentently vile.
It’s her basic natural right to put whatever substances she likes into her body.
The only problem was her addiction, which made moderation was essentially impossible.
Carrie Fisher didn’t choose to have substance abuse issues.
She also didn’t choose to be bipolar.
What she did choose to do was to raise an amazing daughter and to touch the lives and minds and hearts of millions and millions of fans over multiple generations.
And she’ll keep doing that in perpetuity.
Star Wars is forever, and a personality like Carrie Fisher’s transcends death.