Although the cause of his passing was not initially divulged to the public, in Autopsy: The Last Hours of Cory Monteith a coroner concludes that the late actor was killed by “mixed drug toxicity” which involved “intravenous heroin use combined with the ingestion of alcohol."
The 31-year-old was found dead at a hotel in Vancouver, Canada in July 2013 after a night on the town with friends.
“Cory was tragically unaware that his central nervous systems were already compromised because of the amount of alcohol he had consumed throughout the evening,” the coroner, Dr. Payne-James said.
“Within seconds after injecting the heroin the effects of these two drugs combined to suppress his ability to breath. As his breathing slows his heart has a much more difficult time pumping oxygen around his blood.”
“Ultimately, it was the alcohol and heroin in combination that killed him and not the heroin in isolation.
In the documentary – which screened in the UK this week – Dr. Payne-James officially rules the death as an accident.
The Mirror reports that Monteith had struggled with substance abuse for most of his adult life.
He had also been released from rehab just eleven weeks before his death, a factor that the coroner claims greatly increased his risk of a drug overdose.
“Fresh from his month in rehab, Cory has lost the tolerance he built up after his long use,” Dr. Payne-James said.
“If drug users start back on the same drugs on the same level before they started rehab that can result in toxic and fatal consequences.”
“The dose Cory was used to three months earlier would now have a much greater effect, suppressing his central nervous system that controls his breathing.”
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