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No drugs ... but Amy drank herself to death in binges

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.

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

She was more than five times the British drink-driving limit.

She said: "The unintended consequence of such potentially fatal levels (of alcohol) was her sudden and unexpected death."

Amy (27) 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.

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 the star dead in bed at her London home on July 23.

"She's made tremendous efforts over the years," said Dr Christina Romete, who had treated Amy. But "she had her own way and was very determined to do everything her way".

Amy gave up illicit drugs in 2008, but had swerved between heavy alcohol use and abstinence for a long time, Dr Romete said.

The singer had resumed drinking in the days before her death after staying away from alcohol for most of July.

Dr Romete said she had warned Amy of the dangers of alcoholism.

"The advice I had given to Amy over a long period of time about all the effects alcohol can have on the system included respiratory, depression, heart, fertility and liver problems, and death."

hnews@herald.ie