Last week, a British coroner labeled Amy Winehouse’s death a “death by misadventure, another way of saying the singer died from alcohol poisoning. While Winehouse had long struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, her untimely death highlights the dangers of alcohol poisoning.
At the time of her death at age 27, Winehouse was found with several empty vodka bottles in the bedroom of her London home. An autopsy revealed that Winehouse’s blood contained 416 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters at the time of her death on July 23. That translates to a blood alcohol level of 0.4 percent. The British and American legal drunk-driving limit is 0.08 percent.
“Most people don’t realize that alcohol can kill you if taken in large enough doses,” said Dr. Scott T. Walters, an addiction expert and professor of behavioral and community health at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. Alcohol is a depressant that can affect respiration and heart rate, leading to death.