Juice WRLD's death ruled accidental oxycodone and codeine overdose

André Wheeler
Photograph: Katja Ogrin/Redferns

The rapper Juice WRLD’s official cause of death has been ruled an accidental overdose. The Cook county medical examiner’s office cited toxic levels of codeine and oxycodone in Juice WRLD’s system in the ruling, released on Wednesday.

“Higgins died as a result of oxycodone and codeine toxicity,” the office wrote in a statement. “The manner of death is accident.”

Juice WRLD, real name Jarad Anthony Higgins, died on 8 December. Reports claim he entered a drug-induced seizure after his private jet landed at Chicago’s Midway airport, where police and federal agents confiscated weapons, pills, and over 70lb of marijuana. Higgins was temporarily revived with a dose of the opioid antidote narcan but died at a hospital shortly after. He was 21 years old.

Related: Juice WRLD: the unapologetic rapper who helped define a new sound

Higgins was known for penning lyrics that addressed addiction and drug usage. He was candid in his music about abusing the drink lean – which includes codeine cough syrup – releasing an addiction-centric song titled Lean With Me in 2018.

Cook county’s announcement comes as pop culture continues to reckon with the rapper’s sudden death.

Last week, Eminem released a collaboration he recorded with Higgins shortly before his death, titled Monsters. Shortly after, 26 unreleased songs by Higgins were leaked online by an unnamed hacker. Higgins’ fans responded to Wednesday’s ruling with an outpouring of fan-made art and tributes to his music.

Carmella Wallace, Higgins’ mother, told TMZ she hoped her son’s death raised awareness around addiction. “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,” she said.