Thursday, July 28, 2011

Amy Winehouse's Family Says She Died Of Withdrawal


Can you actually die of alcohol withdrawal? Apparently if you are the family of Amy Winehouse this is exactly how their daughter died. They said that she went cold turkey and had not had any alcohol in almost a month and her body could just not handle going without. They said Amy's doctors advised her to go without booze in a more gradual process. Huh? So, what Amy's parents are saying is that when people go into rehab for alcohol abuse, the clinic gives them booze while they are there and slowly reduces it to nothing? Of course they also said that Amy has done no drugs at all for three years. I guess they are not counting pot since she was photographed smoking pot several times in the past three years.


I understand why they want to put their own spin on her death, just like Keith Carradine's family wanted to when the star whackers got him in Thailand. By the time the toxicology report comes out, this will be older news, so maybe their version of events can stick. I think when the final reports are released, we might get an answer to something else too.

81 comments:

jax said...

sigh

Ida Blankenship said...

I actually *do* believe that you have to slowly wean hardcore addicts off their toxins of choice. An old boss of mine was the biggest drunk I've ever known, and he'd give up liquor every Lent (he'd last about a week, typically). His DTs were terrifying; he couldn't stop trembling and sweating. So, I definitely don't think it's *that* easy to just quit the bottle altogether and not suffer some physical repercussions.

However, I just really doubt that she was able to quit entirely while at HOME -- I'd think she would have needed a clinic full of counselors, a healthy does of sedatives, and other people struggling with the same issues who could have commisserated.

I wasn't shocked at ALL when she died, but I still find it so terribly sad. God, what a talent. What a tragically short life. Wow.

Bonnie Blue said...

As far as I know, you can die from alcohol withdrawal. I had a friend who is a psychiatrist and did work in rehab centers and she told me that alcohol withdrawal is really the only one that can kill you. Opiate withdrawal may suck horribly but it won't kill you. The DTs with though. That's what I have heard.

JJ said...

Something else? Like an A-List singer with AIDS?

surfer said...

Aha! So, was I right (sadly) about Amy possibly being the HIV singer?

And, if she was truly (**cough, cough**) alcohol and drug-free, how would they explain her performance last month in Serbia?

Also, the British papers reported that as a result of her drug use and her body pretty much being shot, she had been having seizures for quite awhile, and was being seen by doctors on a very regular basis. If that is actually true, maybe she had a seizure while sleeping (is that possible?), and that contributed to her dying.

Dollum said...
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Ida Blankenship said...

Uh, that should be "dose" and not "does."

Ida Blankenship said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FS said...

Last week her father said she was clean for 2+ years, so I just cannot believe anything he says about her at this point. I'm sure his grief is unfathomable, but I would feel better if they would just stop talking. They cannot rehab her image this way, no one is buying it and they are just making it worse. How very sad.

JJ said...

Oops...I should say A-list singer with HIV. My apologies!

Nutsonurse said...

Actually, you can die from alcohol withdrawal. It's called the DT's. However, if it was almost a month, it's highly unlikely. It usually occurs within the first week. When you are re-habbing in a hospital, etc., you are given medication to help prevent it. If she was trying to quit drinking at home after a binge, it's possible. Especially with the amount it would appear she drank routinely. Who knows for sure? It changes nothing.

luckylass said...

I agree that the "I think when the final reports are released, we might get an answer to something else too." refers to THAT blind. It was either her or Britney. So sad.

Michael said...

I'm not saying what her parents stated was true in Amy's case, but YES you can die from alcohol withdrawal. It can cause siezures and the DT's. If her doctor told her to wean herself gradually from booze, then Amy must have refused long term inpatient rehab where you can quit cold turkey and have anti-siezure meds at the ready.

Cindy said...

It was David Carradine, not Keith.

SusanB said...

My dad was an functioning alcoholic. He developed an abdominal aortic aneurysm and had to be hospitalized. After emergency surgery he started to have DTs so they put him on an alcohol drip to wean him off. He actually didn't drink for 3 years or so before he started back. We really had hopes that he sould stay off but unfortunately......

Kisha said...

You can totally die from alcohol withdrawal. It can cause a seizure so intense that it will kill you. Rehab centers do not typically continue giving booze, but instead prescribed benzos given at a strict taper down rate to prevent seizures. That said-I don't think that's what did in Amy. Poor girl.

Lori said...

you can most definitely die from alcohol withdrawl. There can be seizures, brain damage, delirium trumens (or the "DT's"), etc etc and can lead to strokes or cardiac arrest. Actually, mortality rate is pretty high for people who exhibit signs of DT's...up to 25%.

Lori said...

severity of withdrawl symptoms and chances of death increase with the number of times the person has been through withdrawl, too.

tallulah b said...

I'm sure Amy's parents are in deep mourning, and what they are claiming seems nonsensical.

When I heard of her passing I thought of the HIV blind as well, but it seems inappropriate to speculate this close to her death. RIP Amy.

jen said...

I think when the final reports are released, we might get an answer to something else too.


Ah. :(

Ida Blankenship said...

@Tallulah -- "When I heard of her passing I thought of the HIV blind as well, but it seems inappropriate to speculate this close to her death. RIP Amy."

I thought the same thing, and thanks for saying something.

RocketQueen said...

You absolutely can die from withdrawal, normally in the form of seizures. I spent some time in a rehab facility, and the alcohol patients are given drugs to prevent the seizures. One patient came in and had bitten half her tongue off during her last attempt to go sober and the ensuing seizure. A second's family found him knocked out cold in the shower after a seizure. She could absolutely have seized and died that way.

Rose said...

I think if she got an ok from a doctor on Friday it's not likely but as many have mentioned it's very important to wean off alcohol. She would have been noticeably I'll if she had just stopped.

I find it unfortunate there is so many ignorance regarding addiction.

iheartjacksparrow said...

Keith Carradine died?

Mooshki said...

So it's okay to talk about her drug and alcohol use, but not her possibly being HIV+? That's just as relevant, because it might explain a lot of her self-destructive behavior.

Wil said...

Yes .. you can die from alcohol withdrawal. That is why most hard core addicts detox in hospital environments. Cold turkey when your body is used to most of it's blood volume being corrupted by alcohol or drugs can .. and a lot of the time does even in hospital environments .. kill. Not saying this is what happened with Amy, but just saying that cold turkey detox can kill you. I know ..

what do I type here? said...

I keep hearing reference to the Singer with HIV blind but I have been unable to find the link?

If it is her it sure would explain her wanted to blur out her brain with crack.

Karmen said...

iheartjacksparrow - No, David Carradine, Bill from the titular "Kill Bill", passed away in 2009 from auto-erotic asphyxiation. His family tried spinning his death to make him look better. All it did was draw more attention to the situation.

I was going to say, yes, you can die from alcohol withdraw, but it looks like there are several more knowledgeable people who beat me to the punch.

PammieC said...

Unfortunately it sounds like her family has been in denial about her condition for some time. They've had to watch her battle addiction for years. It's a shame, but at this point if it helps them grieve easier then so be it. It will be interesting to see the final report

__-__=__ said...

We'll never really know because she died alone. And that makes all this even sadder. Which makes me hate Blake for coming into her life even more. I'm not sure she had a chance.

MizCaramel said...

I went to rehab in '99 (and I am still sober by the grace of God)and they had to give me meds so that I wouldn't go into seizures. I was a big drinker, I won't glorify what I did or brag, but I'm lucky to be alive today.

One of my previous attempts at getting sober found me in a detox facility where they gave no meds to help ween people off of their drink or drug of choice and that was including people who came off of heroine. Anyway, we were in group one evening and 3 people proceeded to have seizures. People referred to it as the bacon dance, it scared the shit out of me.

So yes you can die from alcohol withdrawal. Was that the case for Amy? I don't know. Either way my heart goes out to her and those who loved her.

Desiree said...

What was the blind again?

Ida Blankenship said...

@Mooshki -- "So it's okay to talk about her drug and alcohol use, but not her possibly being HIV+? That's just as relevant, because it might explain a lot of her self-destructive behavior."

I see what you mean. I do. It just seems as if it's WAAAAY too soon to speculate if Amy had AIDS, or if she was HIV-positive (though she was definitely my guess for that blind when Enty posted it years and years ago).

I mean, okay, it's fine to speculate -- that's human nature -- but it seems cruel to posthumously tag another label on her until we know for *sure.*

*shrugs* I dunno. I just really liked her. I wanted her to pull through so badly. I mean, we've still got Courtney LOVE. Why not Amy?!

I guess I'm being hypersensitive.

Adobe88 said...

Yes, you can most definitely die from Alcohol Withdrawal.

Doctors/rehabs will not feed alcohol to withdrawing patients but will give them a drug that is not unlike methadone for heroin users.

People die from alcohol withdrawal....Whether this was the case for Amy or not, no one knows, yet, and she obvs had more complex disorders, and possibly the HIV, but, I think its important to know that alcohol withdrawal for serious alcoholics is an all too real possibility.

Adobe88 said...

Also, the perso who asked if she was getting sober, what about the messy concert last month...Well, I witnessed first hand a loved one go through withdrawal and attempt at weaning himself from severe daily large consumption of alcohol, and there were times that he seemed to be one hundred percent demented.

He was having hallucinations, he was clumsy, long term alcohol use can cause brain damage, and there are pockets of alcohol that get released. So that one beer can have the effect of a bottle of vodka, while they are trying to quit.

Obvs, the person in my life had to go into supervised medical rehab. He was unable to function, and the detox was frightening for us, and especially for him.

there is a reason addicts keep using. Quitting can be like hell.

On a happy note, my loved one is nearly one year sober and flourishing...

Lelaina Pierce said...

I thought they'd already released reports with suspected drugs ("bad" ecstasy pill)??

So Amy was just drunk in that video where she was booed? I dunno...

Ice Angel said...

Absolutely positively YES...alcohol is the only withdrawl that can and does kill. Heroin withdrawl is painful and you and everyone around you will wish you were dead-but only alcohol can cause death-typically by seizure and heart attack.

No alcoholic should ever go cold turkey, but shouldn't be recommended to taper off either. They should be put in a proper medically supervised detox taking something like Valium for DTs.

Tenisha said...

The toxicology reports will prove otherwise so her family should just STFU and stop courting the media. You ask for privacy and yet you're on every channel and every website talking about her...just shut up already.

*girl said...

@SusanB: So sorry to hear that. My dad went through almost the exact same thing but he managed to stay sober. Since 1995 and counting.

However I lost my brother a month ago to alcohol. I think that's what is making Amy's death a little tougher for me than it should.

Lissette said...

Totally OT, but does anyone remember about a tween star who was going to undergo a pretend rehab situation to come back in and get more attention by also changing her image, or something like that?
I was thinking we are watching it with either Vanessa Hudgens (who seems to be going down a bad path), or Demi Lovato.

Danielle said...

Hmm.. came across this from 2007 while looking for HIV Blind item. It's kind of interesting considering Amy and Kelly are now said to be bff's..
http://www.crazydaysandnights.net/2007/02/kelly-osbourne-says-someone-in-her.html

bluebonnetmom said...

This whole thing is beyond sad. And it will all come out, HIV Positive, etc. That is one rough, difficult life for 27 years. Regardless, this was their baby, their child. Let's give them some grace on this. Burying a child would just crush your soul. I don't know how you ever get over that.

Danielle said...

I also forgot to add: We'll never know for sure what happened to Amy. And please.. all these sugar coated autopy/ toxicology reports (I.E. accidental overdose of certain celebrities when it's clearly an suicide) and you think any kind of disease including HIV will come out? No way..

Jeri said...

They love her. They can be forgiven for any statements that may or may not be factual. They are grieving. They are in pain.

Rose said...

It sounds like Amy's parents are not on the same page regarding her health. If her Dad is saying she's been clean for 2-3 years that doesn't jive with what her Mom said about seeing her the day before she died.

brendalove@gmail.com said...

man, I don't know what to think. Remember a few years beck when she had those hideous splotches on her face and was trying to cover it with makeup and it just wasn't working? I thought it might be Kaposi's sarcoma (associated with AIDS) and that she would soon die. Well, she didn't die at that time. But right before she died, she really looked good!

Hopefully at some point when enough time has passed ENT will throw us some kind of bone to let us know if we are way off track.

M said...

I believe if she died of a seizure, that would have been revealed in the autopsy. Certain by-the-book things occur during a seizure & leave a trail for the coroner. I'm content waiting for the toxicology reports. She could've had cirrhosis, any of the heps(a, b, c), malnutrition, anything. Speculating makes me even sadder.

L'auteur said...

I actually wondered if she was HIV+ when she was diagnosed with emphysema a couple of years ago. One of the symptoms of HIV is "emphysema-like disease." I also thought the splotches might be sarcoma...

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

Mooshk,

I think the difference is fact vs speculation.

SusanB said...

@ *girl - sorry about your brother - unfortunately I see my brother starting down that same path. We tried an intervention but no go. I've had to distance myself from him because he becomes verbally abusive when drunk. I wish there was an easy cure but there isn't. Happy about your dad though!

Manda_kitty said...

My uncle is going through the same thing and you can die and you do have to do it gradually. Same as with medication for depression or something like that. It's very dangerous to just go cold turkey.

Bubbles said...

If Amy had Emphysema, it would more than likely be related to her drug use, crack smoking not HIV since most HIV+ people don't have it. And no, if she were the HIV+ singer, it would never be released publicly as if she was positive anyone doing the autopsy would have this information in her health records and it didn't directly contribute to her death. I say this because of other celebrities who died, killed themselves and were HIV+ and it was never revealed because it wasn't the cause of death. That's a strictly private matter that I'm sure the family has no reason to want publicized as it has nothing to do with the public.

On the other hand, didn't the singer in question supposedly contract if from a rapper?

Gracie said...

Here's a link to blind item reveals from 2008. There's Enty's comment - P.S. She's British that someone mentioned and in the comments section others have included the actual wording of the blind item(s). http://www.crazydaysandnights.net/2008/07/happy-4th-of-july.html

shopgirl said...

I'm really starting to think Enty isn't enty anymore. Of course people can die from withdrawal. That's a big reason why there are doctors on call at rehab facilities. And why would he mix up Keith with David Carradine?????

RocketQueen said...

I think that HIV singer was exposed well over a year ago as someone most of us had never heard of....am I the only one who remembers that? She was a Brit.

RenoBlondee said...

@RocketQueen
That's exactly what I thought too!
Anyone else?

nancer said...

i don't think you die from alcohol withdrawal a month after you quit. i don't believe that.

the tox report will tell the story. they'll find shit of one kind or another. book it.

New Life and Attitude said...

I'm going to chime in with everyone else who has stated that it is actually possible to die from detoxing from alcohol. My husband has been struggling with addictions since he was a teenager. He has had seizures in the past when trying to get off of alcohol. Since we've been together he's been addicted to many different pain killers and while those were highly uncomfortable detoxes for him, they've been nothing compared to coming off of alcohol. Just this past month he relapsed on alcohol and ended up in a mental health facility because of his actions and the strong drugs that they had to put him on to control the DTs and seizures. He's hopefully going to be admitted into an in-patient rehab tomorrow morning if his urine sample comes out clean from the drugs that they gave him at the other facility (the system really sucks sometimes).

selenakyle said...

Yeah...did Mitch not just say recently that her recovery was having regressions, but not drugs but "the drink, if you get my drift..." or something similar?

She also looked buzzed onstage with Dionne (sp?) in that last video, too.

But I can totally believe that the overall cause of death was her body just giving out in some form or another.

lolaluvs2snack said...

It does seem odd, I wonder if Enty is the same person too. The parents are all over the place with their comments. But I'm sure their emotions are all over the place as well. The toxicology report will not give you the dirt you think. ONLY what acutely killed her not what was chronically killing her. She could have vomited while sleeping on her back and died. Drowning in her vomit, that happens quite often.

Regardless RIP Amy

hunter said...

Yes, seconding the many good comments above, you can die from the DT's or alcohol withdrawal shock, and it's not uncommon. Every good AA knows this. However, it usually happens within the first 72 hours. Not a month; that sounds highly unlikely. As has been said above, when someone goes to detox today, they are "weaned" using various psychotropic and other therapeutic drugs, given by trained medical professionals. In the old days they were weaned using real alcohol. Also, you have to be at a pretty high level of consumption to have these symptoms.

Courtney Kelly said...

You can die from alcohol withdrawal. It is called delerium tremens. This usually happened within the first day or two when your body has cleared the alcohol. Unlikely that a month later this would happen.

Char said...

You definitely can die from withdrawal to alcohol, and should never go cold turkey. However, it'll be in the first 48 hours after stopping, not a month later.

And I do not believe for a second that Amy hadn't had a drink in a month.

That being said, I feel badly for her family and what they are going for, but I don't feel they should be trying to justify this publically. Grieve together, absolutely, justify it to each other, but don't give excuses to the media.

UnicornsRReal said...

@MizCaramel - congrats on your sobriety. It's a big deal. I'm on year 14.

@*girl - I am so sorry for your loss. I know you are heartbroken.

Here are some great live performances from Amy that are not a train wreck:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iki9PD7fzkA

from 2003:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vf1Hq8t-bzE&feature=related

Jasmine said...

First off, I just want to congratulate everybody whose succeeding in staying off alcohol and also for sharing their personal stories and feeling secure enough here on CDAN to do so. So often we bicker and bitch each other out and so sometimes its so nice to come on here late in the day and see everybody commiserating together over something so personal. It almost feels like a little family : )

My mom has struggled with drinking since I was little, I was actually the first one to really put a name to what she had become -alcoholic- ...I was 10 the first time I used that word to describe her. Now, at 50, alcohol continues to be the crutch that has propped her up and more often, led her down a road of bad men, bad life decisions, and even worse self esteem.

So to hear so many of you able to kick that vicious disease to the curb is...inspiring and gives me hope for her. So thank you.

As for Amy, I dont know about the spin her parents are doing but I remember when she died my theory was that she had tried to kick the booze and drugs to the curb and then, like soooo many who relapse, she did her lethal dose of Special K, coke, X, and booze (the cocktail that has so famously been reported in the past) and just couldnt take it. I think, strangely, her huge drug binges years ago was when she was probably less likely to OD and die and now, having perhaps not been clean but maybe off the harder shit for so long, doing it again was too dangerous and this killed her. I definitely dont think just booze or just one X tab and booze did this woman in- I mean she used to inhale horse tranqs for godsakes!

c17 said...
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c17 said...

Annnnnnd it's stupid shit like this that makes me wonder who ACTUALLY writes this column. OF FUCKING COURSE it's possible to die from withdrawl - there's TONS of instances of it! One minute on Google would give you examples instead of you posting something so stupid for the whole world to read. JEEZE!

Kid Sis said...

It's not Enty, but the star whackers reference still made me lol. I'd still love a reality show with the Quaids.

UnicornsRReal said...

@Jasmine - addiction is a bi**h and I have no clue how I didn't die. I feel for your mom and you too. You have to watch it all go down and have early childhood memories of it. It's a wicked disease. I hope she gets to a point where something clicks inside her and she stops.

Jasmine said...

@Unicorn-
Thank you for your kind words. Its interesting to hear you say something about things 'clicking'. I know its not the same but when I was at my heaviest something one day clicked for me and I started losing weight, its been 2 yrs now and I havent gained any back. Maybe with all addictions something needs to click before any changes can be made? I know that I have always been very truthful with myself and I found I just couldnt lie to myself anymore and pretend I was happy where i was and soon after the change began. Maybe this is the key- knowing yourself enough to want to make a change to create a better you?
Either way, So happy for your 14 yrs of success thus far!

Maja. With a J. said...

The HIV+ singer has not been revealed (well, until possibly now); when the story came out about that German singer with whom none of us was familiar, enty said that she was NOT the singer from his blind.

jax said...

you should have the same rights in death as you do in life regarding your medical history.

it's not our business.

Diane said...

She died because she was a junkie. Spin it whatever way you want to but that is the truth!

Anotheramy said...

Your right to privacy doesnt end with death. If Amy was HIV positive she took it to the grave with her.

Youre right Diane, the fact that she had been addicted to drugs and alcohol killed her. It may have been substances she consumed that day or the damaged done prior to but thats what did it.

DivaJulia said...

There is no way in hell the public will be provided with the REAL, TRUE toxicology results. Rumor has it, too, that Amy may have been pregnant. Personally, even as a fellow-blogger, I don't think something that private should be revealed to just EVERYONE. Would you like your child's tox report on your local newscast or paper? Not me.

Amy had demons that she felt she needed to silence via self-medication. Too many of us feel this way--and so do our children. Maybe if the looky-loos thought about it in those terms once in awhile, we'd be more forgiving and understanding.

But that's not how society IS anymore, sadly.

lutefisk said...

I am not really sure why HIV is looked at worse than being a junkie as far as Amy is concerned. I have a friend who has been HIV positive for years and living a happy productive life. I also had a friend who was a junkie and homeless. I don't think any disease should be looked at scornfully.

Barton Fink said...

Ugh, I've already spent too much time listening to claims about her death. She was drunk, she was not, she was on ecstasy, it was bad ecstasy -- enough! Watch the Youtube videos entitled "Belgrade" and there is absolutely no chance she was sober during the final chapter of her life. She threw away her talent because she was powerless to stop the grinding and disfiguring substance abuse that had already made her a staggering corpse. I'm over it. Let's move on to people who matter.

Jenny S said...

When someone is alcohol dependent like Amy way, detox must be medically supervised. Yes, you can die from withdrawals from alcohol. I don't know why she didn't check into some sort of clinic or hire a doctor and nurse to supervise. Was she out of money when she died?

Maja. With a J. said...

I'm sure the autopsy/ tox report will be on find a death within weeks.

Netta said...

@Jasmine - your story touched me. My mom battle alcoholism for as long as I can remember. It caused a lot of devastation. At one point we didn't speak for 8 years. It killed me, because she was the only parent I ever had.

She got sober at the age of 55 with the help of AA, and went through detox on her own. It was very dangerous, but that didn't stop her. She remained sober for the rest of her life -- and fortunately, we reconciled and became closer than ever. She was my best friend and I miss her so much.
She was the strongest person I have ever known. She thanked me for putting my foot down and cutting her off, and said I did the right thing. But I sure wish I had those eight years back.

I say this to tell you there is hope. I never, never thought she would get sober. But she did.

Michelle said...

You should do a little research before posting things like this. To reiterate what everyone else has said, yes, you absolutely can die from alcohol withdrawal. Some people do need to be on an alcoholic drip, or given medication in order to prevent this from happening. This post just serves to make you look uneducated and unsympathetic.