Juice WRLD died of accidental drug overdose, medical examiner says

Juice WRLD attends the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on Aug. 20, 2018 in New York City. Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for MTV

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office announced on Wednesday afternoon that it had officially determined Juice WRLD‘s cause of death, saying the American rapper died of an accidental drug overdose.

The 21-year-old, whose real name was Jarad Higgins, died six weeks ago as a result of “oxycodone and codeine toxicity,” according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office’s official Twitter page.

Juice WRLD reportedly struggled with prescription drug addiction for many years.

He suffered a seizure at Chicago’s Midway International Airport on Dec. 8 in the middle of a police search of his private jet before being rushed to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead at around 3:15 a.m.

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During a search in a private hangar at the airport, a drug-sniffing dog made a “positive alert” on luggage carts that were loaded with bags from the rapper’s plane, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said last month.

Inside, police found multiple bags of suspected marijuana, several bottles of prescription cough syrup, three guns, metal-piercing bullets and a high-capacity ammunition magazine, he said.

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Following Juice WRLD’s death, authorities said there were no signs of foul play and that those who were aboard the aircraft with the rapper, including his girlfriend, were actively co-operating with authorities.

Juice WRLD launched his career on SoundCloud before rising to the top of the charts with his single Lucid Dreams, which features Sting’s 1993 hit Shape of My Heart.

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Lucid Dreams went six times platinum and reached No. 2 on the all-genre Hot 100 chart and No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Rap Songs charts.

Juice WRLD’s mother, Carmella Wallace, released a statement early last month, four days after the death of her son.

She spoke about her son’s use of prescription drugs and his addiction before touching on his legacy.

“As he often addressed in his music and to his fans, Jarad battled with prescription drug dependency,” she told TMZ in a statement. “Addiction knows no boundaries, and its impact goes beyond the person fighting it.

Juice WRLD accepts the award for top new artist at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., on May 1, 2019.

“Jarad was a son, brother, grandson, friend and so much more to so many people who wanted more than anything to see him defeat addiction.

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“We hope the conversations he started in his music and his legacy will help others win their battles, as that is what he wanted more than anything. We know that Jarad’s legacy of love, joy and emotional honesty will live on.”

With files from Global News’ Katie Scott

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