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No Drugs, Alcohol in Robin Williams System, Coroner's Inquest Reports

  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    SAN FRANCISCO - Robin Williams' autopsy found no alcohol or illegal drugs were in his body when he killed himself at his Northern California home in August, sheriff's officials said Friday. The results released by the Marin County sheriff's office found that the actor had taken prescription medications, but in "therapeutic concentrations."

    The coroner ruled Williams' death a suicide that resulted from asphyxia due to hanging.

    Sheriff's officials have said Williams was found in the bedroom of his home in Tiburon on the morning of Aug. 11. His death had been preliminarily ruled a suicide, with sheriff's officials saying he hanged himself with a belt.

    Williams' wife, Susan Schneider, has said the actor and comedian was struggling with depression, anxiety and a recent Parkinson's diagnosis when his personal assistant found him dead. Williams had publicly acknowledged periodic struggles with substance abuse, and he had entered a substance abuse program shortly before his death. According to the coroner's report, his wife told an investigator Williams did not go there because of recent drug or alcohol abuse, but rather to reaffirm the principles of his rehabilitation.

    According to his wife, Williams was having trouble sleeping and had shown increased signs of paranoia before he committed suicide, the autopsy report said. Medical records confirmed he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in November 2013 but had symptoms since 2011, including a left arm tremor and the slowing of left hand movements. Treatments with drugs in May 2014 led to some improvement, according to the report, and he remained physically active until his death.

    Williams had two types of antidepressants in his system when he died, as well as a Parkinson's medication, caffeine and another ingredient found in tea and cocoa, the autopsy found. Authorities have said Williams was last seen alive by his wife when she went to bed the night of Aug. 10. She woke up the next morning and left, thinking he was still asleep elsewhere in the house. Shortly after that, Williams' assistant came to the home and became concerned when he failed to respond to knocks at a door. The assistant found the 63-year-old actor in a bedroom, according to sheriff's officials. Williams also had superficial cuts on his wrist, and a pocketknife was found nearby.

    The results of Williams' autopsy, including the toxicology tests, were originally slated to be released Sept. 20. Marin County officials later announced a Nov. 3 release date, but the report was further delayed. Toxicology reports routinely take up to six weeks to complete.

    Associated Press writer Sudhin Thanawala contributed to this report.

    AP/Nov. 8, 2014
    Newshawk Crew

    Author Bio

    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.


  1. Wanderer
    It's so sad that such a great talent took his own life. I was a big fan of Robin Williams and his comedic genius. His life had been filled with hardships of mental instability and addiction, but somehow he managed to not die a tragic death caused by illicit drugs.

    I am relieved to see the coroner's report that there were no illicit drugs in his system at the time he committed suicide and he had just come out of rehab to re-affirm his commitment to staying clean.

    He was, however, prescribed psychiatric medications including antidepressants. One must consider the possibility that these contributed to him committing suicide. Many anti-depressants have been linked now to suicide, among other problems.

    As tragic as it is, it is welcome news to see that his suicide cannot be blamed on drugs (though perhaps not pharmaceutical anti-depressants or other prescribed medications). I'm sure the press would have had a field day if they found anything illicit in his system as fuel for the hysteria which fuels the "War On drugs". I am very happy that he cannot be used as an example of "how bad drugs are", but on the other hand, I will miss his presence here in this world as many others will as well.

    Robin Williams' death is a great loss to us all, I for one will miss him.

    Be responsible...
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