Chester Bennington’s tox screen showed ‘presumptive positive’ for drugs: What that means

The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office has concluded its investigation into the July 20 suicide of Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington, confirming its initial ruling: Death by hanging. 

The toxicology portion of the autopsy report, obtained by USA TODAY, revealed a “presumptive positive” for methamphetamine or MDMA (ecstasy) in his blood using ELISA, an antibody-based test. It did not specify which of the two it was or how much was present.

Meanwhile, a mass-spectrometer test, which is used to find specific drugs and quantify the exact amounts found, failed to detect either drug in the urine sample, where drugs remain for a longer period of time. 

According to the report, a prescription bottle of the sedative Ambien (Zolpidem), which the singer occasionally used, was found near his body, however, that drug was not detected in the toxicology screen.

A half-empty bottle of Corona beer was also found nearby, which could explain the small amount of alcohol present in his system. But at .05%, it wouldn’t have been enough to register as a DUI in California.

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Guido Montani