According to NBC News, drug paraphernalia was found by police on the premises, but authorities will have to wait for the results of a toxicology report to determine whether illegal substances were the cause of Wittels’ death. It will take six to eight weeks for that report to be completed.
Meanwhile, comedy fans and performers expressed shock over the loss of the writer behind several cult favorites, including “The Sarah Silverman Program,” “Eastbound and Down” and “Secret Girlfriend.” Wittels also made occasional cameo appearances on camera, memorably playing a pot-smoking employee for Animal Control, also named Harris on “Parks and Recreation.”
Wittels is also credited for coining the phrase “humblebrag,” which has become so popular on social media it even inspired a 2012 coffee table book. Wittels spoke publicly in graphic detail about past troubles with drug addiction. During a “You Made It Weird“ podcast interview last November with comedian Pete Holmes, Wittels admitted to several stints in rehab, one as recently as a month before the interview, to combat his heroin abuse.
“I just really stopped caring about my life. I just really started to think like ‘well, if I’m only here for 80 years then who cares if I spend it high or not,’” Wittels told Holmes. In that same interview, Wittels claimed he had been using recreational drugs since he was 12 years old.
“I’m still trying to figure out how to value my life,” he added. “I don’t have a wife or kids or anything so there’s nothing truly depending on me.”
“Parks and Recreation,” which is presently in its final season, will air its final episode next week.