Last November the surfing community was rocked to hear that Andy Irons, the 3x World Champ, died at the age of 32, apparently as a victim of Dengue Fever.
Earlier today another ripple was set into motion when autopsy reports revealed that the actual cause of death was the combination of a, “heart attack related to coronary artery disease and ‘accute mixed drug ingestion.'”
The Irons family hired its own medical examiners to review the report, one of whom disputed the findings that drugs contributed to Andy’s death.
Despite this, the family said it would not contest the official findings, as it was a known fact [among them] that Irons had long suffered from mood disorders and drug abuse.
“Andy was prescribed Xanax and Zolpidem (Ambien) to treat anxiety and occasional insomnia — a result of a bipolar disorder diagnosed by his family doctor at age 18,” a statement by his family said. “This is when Andy first began experiencing episodes of manic highs and depressive lows.”
The Irons Family official statement went on to say:
“ The family believes Andy was in some denial about the severity of his chemical imbalance and tended to blame his mood swings on himself and his own weaknesses, choosing to self-medicate with recreational drugs. Members of his family, close friends, and an industry sponsor intervened over the years to help Andy get clean, but the effort to find balance in his life was certainly complicated by his chemical makeup.”
To read the statement in its entirety, head over to transworld.net.
Below is a video of the official memorial paddle-out that was held for Irons on November 3, 2010.