The news that Whitney Houston was found dead in a bathtub with prescription drugs nearby has sparked speculations that the 48-year-old may have drowned in the bath after taking an overdose of relaxant drugs with alcohol.
According to The Sun, her hairdresser found her with her head underwater and her legs in the air. Emergency services were called. Paramedics arrived at the scene and tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate her. She was finally pronounced dead at 3.55 p.m.
The Telegraph reports Houston was expected to attend the annual pre-Grammy Awards party at which it is believed she was due to perform. She had attended rehearsals for the Grammys on Thursday, with singers Brandy and Monica. Eyewitness accounts say she looked disheveled, sweated profusely and reeked of liquor and cigarettes.
According to Fox News, the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office said on Sunday afternoon that an autopsy on Houston's body has been completed, but the report was placed "on hold" pending toxicology tests. Deputy Coroner Ed Winter said at a press conference that the toxicology report could take up to six to eight weeks to prepare. He added Beverly Hills Police Department requested a "security hold" on the coroner's report, but confirmed that "no foul play is suspected." According to Winter, Houston was found in the bathtub in her hotel room with prescription drugs nearby. The Sun reports the drugs included Lorazepam, Valium and Xanax. The drugs are relaxants used to treat insomnia and anxiety. According to TMZ, family members confirmed she had been taking Xanax.
When combined with alcohol, Xanax causes drowsiness. The drug could be dangerous in combination with alcohol in high doses. After the report that she was found with her head underwater, it has been speculated she might have drowned in the bath water after taking Xanax on alcohol. Although no alcohol was found in her room, Fox News reports she had been drinking with friends in the hotel.
'Two wild nights of boozy partying'
According to The Sun, Houston's death "followed two wild nights of boozy partying." On Thursday she looked "wild-eyed, dishevelled and disoriented" as she left Hollywood's Tru nightclub where she had attended a party thrown by singer Kelly Price. The Sun reports, "She had scratches on her wrist and blood running down a leg."
She had caused a scene at the party, when after she had been drinking tequila, she went wild at the sight of her toyboy lover singer and actor Ray J, talking to former U.S. X Factor contestant Stacy Francis. She approached Francis and screamed: "This is my man. I'm a cougar. Bitch, get away from my man."
Ray J and Stacy tried to calm her but she continued screaming and even shoved Francis in the forehead.
She had another night of partying and drinking on Friday with friends at the Hilton. The Sun reports onlookers said she was excessively loud and boisterous all night.
A glorious career cut short by drug abuse
Houston's glorious career was ended too soon by drug abuse. She confessed on a number of occasions to abusing cocaine and marijuana. She lost her greatest asset as a performer, her voice, to drug use. Her voice became raspy and hoarse and she was unable to soar to high notes that made her a legend in the entertainment industry at the height of her career. She once told ABC's Diane Sawyer in an interview (see interview above) in 2002: "The biggest devil is me. I'm either my best friend or my worst enemy."
Many have blamed her marriage to Bobby Brown for the drug troubles that brought her career to a premature end.