Amy Winehouse's Death Confirmed as Alcohol Poisoning But Will We Ever Learn?

amywinehouseI wasn't particularly surprised to learn that the results of a second inquest into the tragic death of Amy Winehouse merely confirmed the original coroner's report: The 27-year-old singer died of alcohol poisoning. I was however, saddened. Again. Because Winehouse was young and talented and it's absolutely tragic that her life was cut short. But also because I can't help but feel that a common misconception contributed to her demise: That alcohol is somehow less dangerous than the other (illegal) substances Winehouse worked so hard to give up: Heroin. Crack cocaine. Marijuana. Yes, these drugs are illegal. Yes, alcohol is perfectly legal. But numbers don't lie: According to the statistics, alcohol is the deadliest substance of all.

A study which evaluated substances including alcohol, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, methamphetamines and marijuana and ranked them based on how destructive they are both to individual users and society as a whole found alcohol to "outrank all other substances." Said one of the researchers, Dr. James Golden:

“A person abusing alcohol can do damage to almost every organ system of their body over time. This is not true of most other substances of abuse. The serious medical consequences of most patients admitted for chemical dependence treatment usually involve those with alcohol dependence. Medical students are just now receiving better education regarding these issues and the treatment of addiction. Hopefully, their patients will have a better understanding of this serious problem through physician-to-patient education and increased awareness as time goes on. This will take time, however.”

To me, the saddest detail revealed by this second inquest was this quote from Winehouse's doctor, who saw her the night before she passed away: "She specifically said she did not want to die."

Heartbreaking. When will we ever learn?

Do you think people will ever realize alcohol is such an incredibly deadly substance?


Image via petercruise/Flickr

alcohol, celebrities, drinking, drugs, marijuana


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Freela Freela

So very sad. I think the fact that it's legal blinds some people to the very real harm that alcohol can do. Just because it's legal does not make it safer than anything other drug, and it's actually more dangerous than some.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

It's legal, easy to acquire, relatively cheap, and very socially acceptable. That means it's easy to get addicted and hard to quit. A meth addict or heroin addict can get away from their drug of choice usually but an alcoholic is tempted constantly by waitresses suggested mixed drinks, well meaning acquaintances at social functions, even free samples of wine at the supermarket.

A lot of people don't realize how dangerous it is because it's so ubiquitous yet that is precisely the reason why it is so dangerous. It's a real problem but there are no good solutions.

jalaz77 jalaz77

Nope. As long as people have ZERO coping abilities there will always be alcoholism. That's why there are addicts because of the mental state of most of these people. There is an underlying issue that doesn't get addressed so substance abuse numbs the pain. This death did not surprise me in the least. So young even though I was not a fan of the majority of her music including her most horrible song 'rehab'. Seriously...why was anyone shocked?? I was in high school when Kurt Cobain killed himself and was shocked, in tears....THEN I grew up read more about his personal life and realized his suicide wasn't shocking at all. Same thing, no coping mechanisms, drugs would of killed him had he not taken a gun to himself. I am still bummed he is gone though...these people were so young.

embar... embarrett91

I heard she didn't die just from alcohol though, and this i saw on the news from an interview with her mother a few weeks after her death,they said there was not much alcohol in her system, she had been taking new medications and was not used to them and had even been telling her mother and her doctor she was not enjoying them but conitued taking them until her doctor would figure out what new meds to put her on, and that night she downed her meds with some alcohol but didn't even drink that much of it and most drugs you aren't supposed to mix with alcohol and of course she wasn't smart to have done that either.

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