After an inconclusive autopsy report and months of speculation and waiting, Amy Winehouse’s family and fans finally have learned the cause of the late singer’s death. A British coroner ruled on Oct. 26 that Winehouse unintentionally died as a result of alcohol poisoning after drinking too much alcohol.
According to the U.K.’s The Guardian, St. Pancras coroner Suzanne Greenway delivered a verdict of misadventure yesterday, as part of an official inquest into the singer’s death. Greeway’s report yielded that upon Winehouse’s death, she had 416mg of alcohol per deciliter in her blood, more than five times the legal driving limit of alcohol, enough to make her comatose and depress her respiratory system.
“The unintended consequences of such potentially fatal levels was her sudden death,” said Greenway.
The Back to Black singer, who had long fought drug and alcohol addictions, was found dead in herLondon apartment on July 23 at the young age of 27. Police Detective Inspector Les Newman said that, following her death, authorites recovered three vodka bottles – two large and one small – from her room.
Professor Suhail Baithun, a Home Office pathologist, explained that people began to lose their faculties at 200mg of alcohol per deciliter. “When you have levels of 350mg, it is associated with fatalities,” said Baithun.
According to Winehouse’s physician, Dr. Christina Romete, the singer developed an alcohol addiction in 2008 after she kicked her famous drug habit. Romete explained that Winehouse eventually developed a pattern of abstaining for a few weeks then drinking again. Regarding Winehouse as one of the most intelligent and headstrong patients she ever met, Romete said that Winehouse was “opposed to any sort of psychological therapy” and wanted to kick her alcohol addiction on her own terms.
“She was one of the most intelligent young women I’ve ever met,” she added. “She was very determined to do everything her way, including her therapy. She had very strict views on that.”
Romete explained that she saw Winehouse, who appeared to be “tipsy,” the night before she died. And though the singer was uncertain of whether not she would be able to quit, the physician said Winehouse was hopeful for her future and told her, “I do not want to die.”
Winehouse’s live-in bodyguard, Andrew Morris, said that in the three days prior to the singer’s death, she was only drinking moderately and on the night before her death, she was lively and well.
However, at around 10:30 a.m. on July 23, Andrews walked into Winehouse’s room and found her on the bed, appearing to be asleep.
“I called her, knocked on the door, opened it and she was on the bed. I thought she was sleeping because she had been up late into the night. It was usual for her to sleep late into the morning.”
Some time after 3pm, he checked her again. “She was lying on the bed in the same position I left her. I became concerned. I went over to her to check if she was OK. I realized she wasn’t breathing, and there was no pulse.” He then called the emergency services and Winehouse was pronounced dead later in the day.
After the verdict was recorded, Winehouse’s family released a statement about the news
“It is some relief to finally find out what happened to Amy. We understand there was alcohol in her system when she passed away; it is likely a build-up over a number of days.
“The court heard that Amy was battling hard to conquer her problems with alcohol, and it is a source of great pain to us that she could not win in time. She had started drinking again that week after a period of abstinence.
“It underlines how important our work with the Amy Winehouse Foundation is to us, to help as many young people and children as we can in her name. It means a lot to us, and from the overwhelming messages of support we have had since Amy died, we know she meant a great deal to people all over the world. We want to thank everyone for that and for their continuing enthusiasm for the foundation.” – nicholas robinson