Surfer Andy Irons’ Toxicology Report Released: Death Caused By Cardiac Arrest, Evidence of Mixed Drug Use

By Tetsuhiko Endo, editor of The Inertia

On Friday, June 10th the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s office released the toxicology report for Philip Andrew “Andy” Irons. It states that his primary cause of death was a sudden cardiac arrest associated with coronary artery disease with a 70-80 percent stenosis (abnormal narrowing) of one of his arteries. It further states that his secondary cause of death was “acute mixed drug ingestion.” According to the report, the following drugs were found either on his person or in his system: Alprazolam (Xanax), Zolpidem (Ambien), cannabinoids (marijuana), naproxen (anti-inflammatory), cocaethylene (a chemical produced in the body when cocaine and alcohol are mixed that’s linked to causing heart attacks in people under forty), methamphetamine, methadone, and cocaine. The report includes a lengthy “comments” section explaining how cocaine and methadone can impede the work of the heart—thereby making their presence in Irons’ body “significant.” It concludes with the following: “the primary and underlying cause of death is ischemic heart disease due to coronary artery pathology (heart disease). Drugs however, particularly, methadone and cocaine, are other significant conditions contributing to death but not resulting in the underlying cause.”

Some, like Dr. Vincent Di Maio, an award-winning forensic expert and media stalwart hired by the Irons family, believe that drugs did not contribute to Irons’ death. Others, like the numerous doctors anecdotally consulted for this piece, side with the medical examiners in Tarrant County citing the myriad and well-documented ways that prolonged drug use can debilitate the heart. In life, Irons’ rock star combination of savant surfing and personal brashness polarized the surfing community like few other public figures, so it is grimly fitting that his death should do the same.

The premature death of a famous and monetarily influential person is always a tragedy, but never just a tragedy. It is many things to many people: a PR nightmare, the scoop of a lifetime, an inconvenience for a tour that seeks legitimacy, the instant canonization of his legend, a damning comment on celebrity culture, a cautionary tale, the tragic loss of a father, brother, husband and son, an ode to self destruction, an episode better left forgotten, an opportunity to change.

What makes Irons unique is not that he self-destructed; it’s that he did so in full view of his sponsors, the media, and his fans—while he was still one of the best surfers in the world. His story presents an interesting study in the way the surfing world, and action-sports cultures in general, function as they mature into full-blown consumer industries.

Continue reading this story on The Inertia >>


  1. criminal defense attorney wv
    June 14, 2011, 11:44 am

    How on earth do we let someone do this to them self in front of all the world. Did no one care about him?

  2. Patrick Sharp jersey
    June 17, 2011, 1:59 am

    I am really delighted I did, you put up some good info.

  3. Brekkens
    June 17, 2011, 4:24 pm

    Say it ain’t so!

  4. Palmer Melissa
    June 17, 2011, 6:44 pm

    I was hoping this would turn out differently, such a sad story!

  5. shortsale222
    June 22, 2011, 11:44 am

    i m very sad when i read it 🙁 but true stories are always different

  6. longchamp
    July 21, 2011, 10:32 pm

    trying it

  7. Calvin Klein
    July 22, 2011, 2:59 am

    I found this very insightful.
    Cool That’s really a good post

  8. used cars sacramento
    August 18, 2011, 4:05 pm

    Wow that is amazing

  9. Criminal lawyer Wv
    September 2, 2011, 3:39 pm

    Yes all it is a sad story. Drugs Kill!

  10. wedding
    October 5, 2011, 1:54 am


  11. accessories
    October 7, 2011, 2:45 am

    I found my dream dress on my first day of shopping.

  12. diploma of management Melbourne
    October 13, 2011, 2:23 am

    I’m hooked! I’ve just started surfing, and even contemplating the enormity of a 57 foot wave is daunting, but you story has me intrigued to continue lessons! 🙂

  13. tribute-credit-card
    October 20, 2011, 11:01 am

    Yes it’s so sad what he did to himself. Maybe because he’s famous and he’s got money that he doesn’t know what to do with his life anymore?

  14. lego star wars death star
    October 21, 2011, 9:33 am

    What a waste. I wonder why these things happens when you got money and you are famous.

  15. nursing LVN programs
    October 23, 2011, 2:25 am

    There has been evidence of drug use in so many deaths here lately that I’m beginning to worry about people out there that use drugs. If you know something is going to kill you like this, then why use it?
    It just doesn’t make any sense at all to me, Whatever floats your boat tho I guess.

  16. Drug rehab
    October 25, 2011, 6:53 pm

    That is what happens to people when they use drugs – they die early. People, who are enormously rich are bored with everything, cause they can easily get everything, and start to look for new experiences in drugs. So stupid..

  17. Scott Alexander
    October 28, 2011, 6:15 am

    Mixed drug use is really dangerous. Extra-caution is needed in implementing this.

  18. wholesale jerseys
    December 5, 2011, 9:55 pm

    We can do better. This isn’t a far-off problem. It’s here, now. And it’s only going to get more urgent.

  19. UGGs Cheap
    December 8, 2011, 10:57 pm

    This site is very interesting and also great. I’m glad to find out this ste immediately. It’s very informative.

  20. wedding520
    December 13, 2011, 2:28 am

    を見つけることができることを保証する、あなたのスタイル(袖の長さ、ラップ、チュール)と価格でソートして検索することができます。彼らはまた、寺院のdresssより現代的であるが、かなり保守的な受信カラードレス 格安

  21. Spring wetsuit
    December 21, 2011, 12:57 pm

    So sad he should have died in the water in a spring wetsuit charging pipe.

  22. Cheap UGGs
    February 11, 2012, 3:48 am

    A nearly century-old hunting Cheap UGGs is catching on with a younger generation that sees the utilitarian footwear as hip.L.L Bean’s familiar duck UGG Bailey Button with leather uppers and rubber soles – designed for slogging through mud and snow – has become something of a statement owing to its newfound popularity on campuses, UGG Amberlee the company said. Another reason is new styles, UGG Tularosa including something Leon Leonwood Bean surely never envisioned in 1912: bright blue and pink leather, new for spring.Part of the success of the UGG Kensington is its versatility, in barnyards or in cities, in snow or rain.Defying a trend toward offshore production,UGG Bailey Button Triplet the outdoors retailer is adding 125 full-time employees to its Maine manufacturing operation to keep pace with orders.
    The well-known UGG Classic Short Sparkles appears to be benefiting from a retro trend, whether it’s penny loafers or Gap’s 1969 series blue jeans, said Candace Corlett, UGG Caspia president of WSL Strategic Retail in New York.Another factor that could be helping Bean: There’s been little that’s new and exciting in footwear in recent years beyond UGG Montclair boots and Crocs, said Alexander Geyman, editor of Focus on Fashion Retail. Trendy UGG Classic Cardy boots and the Timberland brand outstrip Bean’s in sales, he said.
    The duck UGG Classic Short carry the “Made in the USA” label, something that’s hard to find these days in footwear. Nationwide, the number of shoe-manufacturing jobs dropped from more than 200,000 in the 1970s to 12,500 this year, UGG Fox Fur according to the U.S. Labor Department. In Maine, shoe-manufacturing jobs peaked at more than 25,000 in the 1960s, UGG Delaine and last year there were 1,300 jobs, according to the Maine Department of LaborWell-known Maine brands like G.H. Bass, Cole Haan, UGG Knightsbridge Sebago and Dexter are now made abroad. But L.L. Bean has resisted the notion of making its Bean UGG Plumdale.As the story goes, L.L. Bean created the hunting UGG Classic Tall for himself after his feet got wet and cold on a hunting trip, and it was not an instant success. Ninety of the first 100 pairs sold in 1912 were returned after the leather separated; Bean had a satisfaction guarantee, UGG Annabelle so he returned customers’ money.These days, UGG Retro Cargo the original L.L. Bean Hunting Shoe is available unlined or with various linings, UGG Finnegan including Gore-Tex, Thinsulate and shearling. There are plenty of other variations, including quilted, canvas and plaid, UGG Sheepskin Cuff and even bright blue and pink leather. There are low-cut versions as well.All of them are still made by hand. The rubber soles are made by L.L. Bean workers in Lewiston, UGG Mayfaire and they’re sewn to the leather uppers at an L.L. Bean plant in Brunswick.All told, there are 320 workers at L.L. Bean’s factory in Brunswick, making UGG Highkoo, dog beds, canvas totes and other products.Each Gore-Tex liner is inflated and dunked in a tank to make sure it’s watertight before being dried and put in the UGG Roslynn.

  23. Bodybuilding Online shop
    February 16, 2012, 7:36 am

    There has been evidence of drug use in so many deaths here lately that I’m beginning to worry about people out there that use drugs.

  24. SEO Dubai
    February 16, 2012, 7:40 am

    How on earth do we let someone do this to them self in front of all the world. Did no one care about him?

  25. Fatburner
    February 19, 2012, 5:34 am

    let someone do this to them self in front of all the world. Did no one care about him?

  26. Winnipeg escorts
    February 19, 2012, 5:45 am

    Maybe because he’s famous and he’s got money that he doesn’t know what to do with his

  27. escort milano
    February 19, 2012, 6:01 am

    All the music in the film, even if it wasn’t played on a guitar, was all developed from guitar, mostly solo guitar. So that very much inhabits the film.

  28. form dubai company
    February 20, 2012, 5:59 am

    but sometimes it is hard to appreciate the view when you are within the recognizable landscape..

  29. gallbladder problems
    February 21, 2012, 12:47 am

    This is one crazy film. But if I were in the same position I’d cut my arm off too instead of dying.

  30. Burberry Sale 
    February 23, 2012, 2:06 am

    Thank you for your artice, it is wonderful. Wish you have a happy day.

  31. Hermes Birkin
    February 23, 2012, 2:28 am

    Really liked your article, very exciting, and gives a lot of thinking, I hope you can see more of your article, thank you