“Toxicology results returned to the Winehouse family by authorities have confirmed that there were no illegal substances in Amy’s system at the time of her death,” reads a statement released today by family spokesman Chris Goodman.
Jeesh. It seems fair to say that no one saw that coming, or at least not among pop culture/entertainment news writers. Goodman’s statement continues, indicating that there was alcohol found in her bloodstream, but the initial atuopsy was unable to determine whether that played a role in the singer’s death. According to USA Today, “Winehouse’s father, Mitch, has said his daughter had beaten her drug dependency three years before her death, but he admitted she was still struggling to control her drinking after several weeks of abstinence.”
Meanwhile, ABC News talks to a toxicology professor at the University of Florida who points out that certain prescription drugs, illicit drugs and “designer” drugs can go undetected in tests. Tests are also unable to account for the biological toll years of drug and/or alcohol abuse can have on a person — enough to lead to death, he says — even if they aren’t present in the body. Weirdly enough, Britain’s Telegraph reports that Winehouse saw a doctor the night prior to her death as part of a routine checkup, given her history with substance abuse, but the doctor saw nothing wrong.
The family expects to hear the outcome of the follow-up investigation by the end of October.