The answer is - no one knows yet. But, details - more than printed in this story - were provided by the deputy coroner / investigator before toxicology results were available. I originally learned of this the same way as the media - a press release from the investigating deputy coroner. The media reported, following up on the press release. What this follow-up story mentioned is that drugs were found on or about the decedent and needle tracks in his arm. There is no mention of preliminary results (urine drug screen for alcohol and drugs of abuse).
This is not something you should be reporting to the media in an active investigation. Here's why...
I had a case a few years ago, while at the coroner's office, in which another agency 'unidentified source' reported a college student died of a drug overdose and cocaine was in the room. No one attempted to speak to me, as the deputy coroner / death investigator that was on scene. Our policy, at that time at least, was to not release details of an active investigation or inconclusive autopsy results. In fact, I had explicitly promised the family that our office (my employer at that time, coroner/ME office) did not release information and they would hear all details from me, personally, first. Guess who I heard about the breaking news from? Yes, the family! I had a long chat with the other agency supervisors and that reporter to assure it would not happen again. I should note that the reporter did a follow-up story based upon our conversation. Unfortunately damage was done - the decedent's and family's reputation was impugned. It was devastating to the family to read this before I could even report back to them after autopsy, including that toxicology was pending and the preliminary drug screen was negative.
In my case, it turned out neither were true. Although the family was glad the end result was not a drug overdose - or any found in his system - they were still devastated about the release of false preliminary information. As professional investigators - private or government - we have to be really careful what we release to the media and public.
Unfortunately, this was not the first time - and it won't be the last - that this particular investigator has impugned the decedent or released information in an active investigation. He is known for disgracing the dead, and their families. Unfortunately, due to a close - very close - relationship within that office (cronyism and nepotism), nothing as usual will happen. In death investigation, private or public sector, you work for the decedent first, families second.
I don't know if this college student died of a drug overdose - to be honest, no one does. If the toxicology comes back negative, does it 'prove' this story - and those maligning the decedent - right? Maybe factually, but not morally. Investigations are to be completed, not simply conducted - and this has not happened in this investigation or the reporting. Reporters report what they are given, that's their job. Investigators are to investigate - not malign decedents or provide information to form unfounded facts in an active investigation.
Voltaire - "To the living we owe respect. To the dead we owe only the truth." Remember, its the families that have to live with this, not the rag reader.