Archive for the ‘Amy Winehouse’ Category

Amy Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning.

Yesterday, as I reported, the coroner at St. Pancras Coroner’s Office, London, released the toxicology report on Amy Winehouse, the 27-year-old British singer found dead in her flat on July 23. The official finding is that Winehouse’s death was due to alcohol poisoning. Her blood alcohol contained five times the legal limit of alcohol, which stopped her breathing and sent her into a coma. Three empty vodka bottles were found near her body in her bedroom.

Ironically, Amy Winehouse burst upon the international music scene with her 2006 hit single, “Rehab,” in which she famously refuses treatment for her alcohol and drug abuse:

“Rehab” became her anthem over the next five years as we watched, played out in the press, her very public spiral downward, in particular, the tumult that led up to her divorce from Blake Fielder-Civil, her husband of two years, whom she had met in a bar:

Blake Fielder-Civil and Amy Winehouse

“In addition to the reported drug use, Winehouse was famously caught on video carving the words ‘I Love Blake’ into her stomach with a shard of glass, and during an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, she displayed photos of the couple passing pills to each other with their tongues.

But the Sid-and-Nancy-style love affair was also accompanied by photos of heated arguments that ended with both sporting bruises and scratches, as well as an arrest in Norway in October 2007 for marijuana possession; the couple were released with a fine. Just months after the wedding, Fielder-Civil was arrested on charges of suspicion of attacking a bar landlord and attempting to bribe him to drop the allegation. Following his incarceration, Winehouse was frequently seen wandering the streets of her Camden neighborhood in a daze, and she subsequently canceled a U.S. tour.” (source)

Some people laughed at Amy’s troubles; others scolded her for her misbehavior. Those familiar with addiction did neither. They knew all too well this predictable pattern. If Amy didn’t get treatment for addiction, she would die.

At yesterday’s inquest, Amy’s parents and friends listened as Amy’s doctor recounted how Amy had been totally resistant to any therapies that could have helped her with her drinking problems. That foolish decision robbed her of her health, beauty, freedom, and happiness, and, finally, her life.

In reporting the inquest’s findings, I have run across some websites with headlines saying, to the effect, that Amy did it to herself, that she deserves no pity: she drank herself to death. You will find none of these attitudes here. Yes, Amy Winehouse is responsible for her own troubles and the suffering she caused herself and others. But Amy was grappling with something she was powerless to control. She was an alcoholic who tried to control her drinking, which she could not.

Amy Winehouse, circled, as a 13-year-old pupil at the Sylvia Young Theatre.

Addiction is an illness. It is chronic, progressive, and, if left untreated, sometimes fatal. Amy Winehouse suffered from an illness she dangerously thought she could manage alone. Rest in peace, Amy Winehouse.

For more on Amy Winehouse on this blog, click here.

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British singer Amy Winehouse lost her battle with addiction.

It looks like we have an explanation for Amy Winehouse‘s tragic death. A coroner says the singer died from drinking too much alcohol, ruling it a “death by misadventure.” A pathologist says Winehouse (1983-2011) consumed a “very large quantity of alcohol” prior to her death and that her blood registered at 4.5 times over the legal drunk-driving limit. Winehouse, who died this summer at the age of 27, had struggled with drug and alcohol addiction for years.

Her doctor says she had resumed drinking in the days before her death after a period of abstinence (which we don’t have to believe).

O blessed Lord, you ministered to all who came to you:
Look with compassion upon all who through addiction have lost their health and freedom.
Restore to them the assurance of your unfailing mercy.
Remove from them the fears that beset them.
Strengthen them in the work of their recovery;
And to those who care for them, give patient understanding and persevering love.

source: The Book of Common Prayer

Read the coroner’s report on Amy Winehouse at the Associated Press.

Read about Amy Winehouse last days at the Daily Mail Online.

Read more about Amy Winehouse on this blog by clicking here.


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Addiction claims another victim. Amy Winehouse is dead at age 27.

Chemical dependence claimed another victim today: 27 year old Amy Winehouse, British rocker, was found dead at her London flat this afternoon. 

The Definition of Addiction 

Answer yes or no to the following seven questions. Most questions have more than one part, because everyone behaves slightly differently in addiction. You only need to answer yes to one part for that question to count as a positive response. 

  1. Tolerance. Has your use of drugs or alcohol increased over time?
  2. Withdrawal. When you stop using, have you ever experienced physical or emotional withdrawal? Have you had any of the following symptoms: irritability, anxiety, shakes, sweats, nausea, or vomiting?
  3. Difficulty controlling your use. Do you sometimes use more or for a longer time than you would like? Do you sometimes drink to get drunk? Do you stop after a few drink usually, or does one drink lead to more drinks?
  4. Negative consequences. Have you continued to use even though there have been negative consequences to your mood, self-esteem, health, job, or family?
  5. Neglecting or postponing activities. Have you ever put off or reduced social, recreational, work, or household activities because of your use?
  6. Spending significant time or emotional energy. Have you spent a significant amount of time obtaining, using, concealing, planning, or recovering from your use? Have you spend a lot of time thinking about using? Have you ever concealed or minimized your use? Have you ever thought of schemes to avoid getting caught?
  7. Desire to cut down. Have you sometimes thought about cutting down or controlling your use? Have you ever made unsuccessful attempts to cut down or control your use?

If you answered yes to at least 3 of these questions, then you meet the medical definition of addiction. This definition is based on the of American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IV) and the World Health Organization (ICD-10) criteria.(1

Read more about the death of Amy Winehouse at the Daily Mail.

Read more about Amy Winehouse’s life at NPR.

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