Amy Winehouse's Surprising Toxicology Results Are Tragic

I think most of us naturally assumed it would eventually be revealed that Amy Winehouse's death was caused by an ill-advised combination of chemical substances. Even though there was no paraphernalia found in her home, the fact that she went to sleep and never woke up seems to imply she had more than alcohol in her system when she was discovered by her bodyguard on July 23.

However, according to a statement released by her family, toxicology results have confirmed there were no illegal drugs found in her body. Alcohol was present, but not yet determined if it played a role in her death.

Somehow, this latest development makes the whole story even more tragic.


First of all, the family's specific reference to "illegal substances" seems odd—I'm sure it's possible that she ingested a lethal dose of prescription drugs. There's something that seems horrifically sad about someone dying as the result of drugs that were given to them by a doctor, no matter how they may have been abused.

But it also seems likely that she could have died from an underlying health issue, exacerbated by her well-documented struggle with addiction. Cardiovascular disease could have been the culprit, or the emphysema she was diagnosed with in 2008. Although Winehouse apparently saw a doctor the night before her death and was given a clean bill of health, a respiratory condition might not have been picked up without a lung function test.

Winehouse was also open about her battle with an eating disorder, sadly apparent to anyone who's seen those troubling images of her emaciated form throughout the years. Her damaged body could have suffered cardiac arrhythmia that night, or gone into a seizure.

Whatever happened to her during the morning of the 23rd, it does seem like her behavior was out of the norm the night before, since she was heard playing her drums so loudly that her neighbors—who claim she was usually very quiet—complained. Was there something in her system that evening that set off a fatal chain of events? I'm guessing the answer is yes, and as a parent, I'd want to know exactly what that was. If only for closure.

Unfortunately, at this point the formal cause of her death is unknown and will be not be released until October. What really happened to Amy Winehouse after she told her bodyguard she was going to rest in her bedroom remains a sad mystery, and I'm sure this is frustrating news for those who cared about her.

Are you surprised to hear about Amy Winehouse's toxicology results?

Image via Flickr/fyunkie

Read More >