updated 07/28/2011 AT 1:00 PM ET
•originally published 07/28/2011 AT 9:00 AM ET
Amy Winehouse’s struggles to quit drugs were well documented. But her family fears that sudden abstinence from alcohol might have been what led to her death last Saturday at age 27, according to a report.
Winehouse ignored doctors’ advice to step back gradually from her heavy drinking and went cold turkey in the past month, an unnamed family friend tells Britain’s Sun. Her family believes that was too much of a shock to her system, the source adds.
“Abstinence gave her body such a fright, they thought it was eventually the cause of her death,” says the source.
PEOPLE has confirmed that this is the family’s belief.