"You would have to look at the wording (of the toxicology report). You'd have to see the report rather than the paraphrased version. We can't speculate."
DEATH BY WITHDRAWAL NOT NORMAL
Mitch said during his funeral address that he believed Winehouse had conquered her drug addiction three years ago but was trying to deal with a drinking problem.
One early report, quoting unnamed family sources, suggested the singer's relatives suspected alcohol withdrawal was the cause. Rather than quitting drinking gradually, it said, Winehouse suddenly stopped.
However, the presence of alcohol in her system when she died, coupled with stories in both the Sun and Mirror tabloids that she had been drinking in the days before her death, have led to doubts that she died from quitting.
Clitherow believed that while possible, the "cold turkey" theory was improbable based on his experience.
"It is very unusual for people to die from alcohol withdrawal," he said. "You can get delirium tremens (DTs), but normally you survive."
Moreover, the Winehouse family statement did not specify how much alcohol was in her system and what sort of impact it may have had on her overall health at the time she died.
"It seems unusual to say that alcohol was present but not be able to say what sort of effect that quantity may have had," toxicology expert Graham Mold said, adding that the confusion may be caused by different levels of alcohol at different "sites" in the body.
Adding to the uncertainty, Winehouse had suffered health scares in the past which could have worsened her condition.
Mitch said in 2008 that his daughter had developed the lung condition emphysema "in its early stages," and that Winehouse had been warned she would die if she continued to smoke drugs.
"If she doesn't go back to drugs, then she can lead this magnificent life," he said at the time, when Winehouse was 24. "We are praying that that's what Amy really wants. She seems resolute."
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