What Investigators Found At Cory Monteith's Death Scene

Canadian actor and musician Cory Monteith died on July 13, 2013. The 31-year-old was found dead in his Vancouver Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel room. According to the coroner's report, emergency responders checked on him after he failed to check out that afternoon. He had returned to his room alone at 2:16 a.m. and was not seen by anybody after that time.

Toxicology revealed that Monteith had alcohol, codeine, morphine, and a heroin metabolite in his system. A British Columbia coroner deemed the cause of death combined heroin and alcohol toxicity. The manner of death was deemed accidental. Monteith was found in a "collapsed position on the floor of his room." Investigators found drug paraphernalia, including a used hypodermic needle, a spoon with drug residue, multiple glasses, and two empty champagne bottles.

The actor's experiences with addiction were well-known, and he had spoken of his substance abuse issues publicly. He checked into rehab months before his death in April 2013 — the third time in his life he'd done so (per People). But the discovery of heroin, in particular, sparked a conversation about how the public views people experiencing addiction, as Monteith did not fit the stereotype of the average substance abuser. "Wealthy, socially included people will be able to pass unnoticed for longer," John Marsden, a professor in addiction psychology at King's College London, told the BBC. "It's not about emaciation and having a needle sticking out of your arm."

A history of addiction

Cory Monteith's experiences with addiction went back years, and he had almost died before. In 2011, he told Parade that he was "lucky on so many counts — I'm lucky to be alive." Speaking to People in 2018, Monteith's mother, Ann McGregor, said his substance abuse began at just age 13 when he started associating with an older crowd. In 2014, she told ABC News that he overdosed and almost died at just 15. She checked him into rehab the same year, but he entered once again at 19 after continuing to use. According to McGregor, Hollywood at least partly drove his substance abuse. "He was stressed because he wanted to get out of that world but he couldn't because he had two more years left on his contract," she said. "Drugs were his way of checking out."

Monteith told Parade his first rehab experience at 19 after his family staged an intervention. "That's when I first went to rehab," he said. "I did the stint but then went back to doing exactly what I left off doing." He eventually got coughing stealing from family — what he calls the "crystallizing event." The family member told him to get clean or they would press charges, so he moved to a small city in Canada and began focusing on acting while working as a roofer.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).