In a sad twist of fate, Canadian actor Cory Monteith’s latest stint in rehab may have contributed to his overdose death in a Vancouver hotel room on July 13, suggests the final report into his death by the B.C. Coroner’s service.
The report concluded the multi-talented star of the hit series Glee died of “intravenous heroin use in combination with ingestion of alcohol.” The death was ruled “accidental.”
The report, by Coroner Claire Thompson noted that Monteith, 31, “had a history of illicit drug use with intermittent period of rehabilitation and abstinence from drugs. The periods of abstinence ranged from years to months in duration.” The report, released Wednesday, said that users of opiods like heroin build up a tolerance to the drug over time. “After a period cessation from opiod drug use, a previously tolerated drug concentration level may become toxic and fatal.”
Monteith was found dead on the floor of his locked hotel room at the Vancouver Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel after he failed to check out after a weeklong stay. Hotel video showed he had returned alone to his room at 2:16 a.m. on the 13th and there was not evidence he saw anyone else in the time before his death.
“An examination of the scene revealed drug paraphernalia including a spoon with drug residue and a used hypodermic needle,” the report said. “There were also two empty champagne bottles and multiple glasses located on a nearby table.”
Both alcohol and heroin depress the central nervous and respiratory systems. “In combination, these drugs can cause sedation and death,” the report said. There was no evidence of injury or foul play.
His visit to Vancouver included meetings to expand his support with Project Limelight, a local charity that enrolled children in a free acting program and linked them with mentors in TV, film and theatre. The third episode of the new season of Glee will include a tribute to Monteith, who played Finn Hudson, a good-hearted former high school quarterback, and love interest to Rachel Berry, played by actress Lea Michele, his real life partner.
Coroner’s report is here: http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/coroners/publications/docs/20131002091811.pdf