Amy Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning like AC/DC lead singer Bon Scott

There is a truth that many people know. You can die from drinking too much alcohol at one time. I remember like yesterday when AC/DC lead singer Bon Scott died while on tour in England in 1980.

According to Wikipedia: On 19 February 1980, Scott, 33 at the time, passed out after a night of heavy drinking in a London club called the Music Machine (currently known as the KOKO). He was left to sleep in a Renault 5 owned by an acquaintance named Alistair Kinnear, at 67 Overhill Road in East Dulwich, South London.[17] The following afternoon, Kinnear found Scott lifeless, and alerted the authorities. Scott was rushed to King’s College Hospital in Camberwell, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Pulmonary aspiration of vomit was the cause of Scott’s death,[18] and the official cause was listed as “acute alcohol poisoning” and “death by misadventure”.[19][20] Scott was cremated and his ashes were interred by his family in Fremantle, Western Australia.[21]

Bon Scott’s grave.

Amy Winehouse’s Autopsy: Coroner Says Singer Died From Too Much Alcohol

LONDON — Amy Winehouse drank herself to death. That was the ruling of a coroner’s inquest into the death of the Grammy-winning soul singer, who died with empty vodka bottles in her room and lethal amounts of alcohol in her blood – more than five times the British drunk driving limit.

Coroner Suzanne Greenaway gave a verdict of “death by misadventure,” saying Wednesday the singer suffered accidental alcohol poisoning when she resumed drinking after weeks of abstinence.

“The unintended consequence of such potentially fatal levels (of alcohol) was her sudden and unexpected death,” Greenaway said.

The 27-year-old Winehouse had fought a very public battle with drug and alcohol abuse for years, and there had been much speculation that she died from a drug overdose. But a pathologist said the small amount of a drug prescribed to help her cope with the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal had nothing to do with her death.

Bon Scott in Grenoble, 10 December 1979.

Instead, a resumption of heavy drinking killed the singer, best-known for her tall beehive hairdos and Grammy-winning album “Back to Black.” A security guard found Winehouse dead in bed at her London home on July 23.

Winehouse gave up illicit drugs in 2008, but had swerved between heavy alcohol use and abstinence for a long time, Romete said. The singer had resumed drinking in the days before her death after staying away from alcohol for most of July, she said.

Romete said she warned Winehouse of the dangers of alcoholism. “The advice I had given to Amy over a long period of time was verbal and in written form about all the effects alcohol can have on the system, including respiratory depression and death, heart problems, fertility problems and liver problems,” she said.

Bon Scott memorial, Kirriemuir, Scotland

Winehouse joins a long list of celebrities who died after fighting alcohol problems, including jazz great Billie Holiday, AC/DC lead singer Bon Scott, film legend Richard Burton, writers Dylan Thomas and Jack Kerouac, and country music pioneer Hank Williams.

Pathologist Suhail Baithun said blood and urine samples indicated Winehouse had consumed a “very large quantity of alcohol” prior to her death. The level of alcohol in her blood was 416 milligrams per 100 milliliters, he said – a blood alcohol level of 0.4 percent. The British and U.S. legal drunk-driving limit is 0.08 percent.

 

Doctors say acute alcohol poisoning is usually the result of binge drinking – the human body can only process about one unit of alcohol, or about half a glass of wine, an hour. Having too much alcohol in the body can cause severe dehydration, hypothermia, seizures, breathing problems and a heart attack, among other difficulties.

There is no minimum dose for acute alcohol poisoning and the condition varies depending on a person’s age, sex, weight, how fast the alcohol is drunk and other factors such as drug use.

In recent years, the 5-foot-3-inch Winehouse had appeared extremely thin and fragile.

Dr. Joseph Feldman, chief of emergency services at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey said Winehouse likely developed a tolerance for large quantities of alcohol after drinking heavily for years. He also said the sedative Winehouse was on, Librium, wouldn’t have stopped someone from having seizures if they were in alcohol withdrawal.

“It’s easier to withdraw from heroin than it is from alcohol … Withdrawal (from alcohol) can cause anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, the sensation of things crawling all over you,” he said.

He said those symptoms sometimes push people back to alcohol.

“It’s possible she could have been saved if she had been found (or treated) earlier,” he said. “A lot of treatment is supportive care, like IV fluids and making sure they don’t inhale their own vomit.”

_________________________

Here is an article that tells what alcohol poisoning is:

Amy Winehouse Died From Alcohol Poisoning: What Is It?

It turns out, Amy Winehouse didn’t die from alcohol withdrawal, as her family had earlier speculated — a coroner ruled that her official cause of death was from alcohol poisoning, according to news reports.

E! Online reported that Winehouse’s blood alcohol limit was five times higher than the limit for drunk driving (she had 416 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, while Britain’s legal limit is 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood). The singer died earlier this year, in July.

Winehouse’s family released a statement that was announced by their spokesman Chris goodman, CNN reported, saying that the family was relieved to finally know what happened to the 27-year-old Grammy-winning singer.

CNN reported:

“The court heard that Amy was battling hard to conquer her problems with alcohol and it is a source of great pain that she could not win in time. She had started drinking again that week after a period of abstinence,” Goodman said.

Alcohol poisoning is relatively common, with 50,000 people in the United States diagnosed with alcohol poisoning each year. It’s caused by binge drinking during a short period of time — the body absorbs alcohol more rapidly than it’s able to clear the alcohol. According to the Mayo Clinic, it takes your body about an hour to completely process one drink (defined as 12 ounces of beer, 1.5 ounces of spirits or 5 ounces of wine).

With alcohol poisoning, alcohol enters the brain and causes a loss of consciousness, a drop in body temperature, low blood pressure, coma and even death, according to the CDC.

Symptoms of binge drinking include vomiting, slow and/or irregular breathing, confusion, pale skin and passing out, the Mayo Clinic reported. It’s imperative that a person with alcohol poisoning — whether all these symptoms manifest or not — to see a doctor as soon as possible. A doctor will conduct blood tests and even a urine test to see the blood alcohol level and determine if there has been alcohol poisoning.

Blood alcohol poisoning is treated with oxygen therapy, intravenous fluids, monitoring and use of the nutrients thiamin and glucose, according to the Mayo Clinic. It’s also important to make sure there is no breathing or choking problems (since the gag reflex is affected during alcohol poisoning).

Winehouse isn’t the first celebrity to die from alcohol poisoning. Bon Scott, the lead singer of AC/DC from 1974 to 1980, died from the condition at age 33, as did country singer Keith Whitley, also at the age of 33.

I have made it clear on this blog before why I do not drink. Here are some related posts:

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