Did Amy Winehouse Die from Alcohol Withdrawal?

Dismissing reports of a 72-hour bender, Amy's family believes it was quitting booze cold turkey that killed the singer

Family and friends said their last goodbyes to Amy Winehouse on Tuesday with a funeral service in London, but the question of what caused the "Rehab" singer's death still lingers. While the toxicology results are not expected back for a few weeks, Britain's Sun newspaper reports that Winehouse's family strongly believes the 27-year-old died from sudden withdrawal from alcohol.

Following a recent one-week rehab stint, Winehouse -- who had battled drug and alcohol addiction for years (Amy's father Mitch Winehouse says she kicked the drug habit three years ago) -- was advised by her doctor to gradually ween herself off of heavy drinking, noting that a sudden withdrawal for such a serious addict could have major consequences. Winehouse ignored the doctors advice and went cold turkey.

According to her family, Winehouse had been sober for three weeks preceding her death, a fact Mitch spoke about at Amy's funeral. "He said doctors had told Amy to gradually reduce her intake of alcohol and to avoid bingeing at all costs," a source close to the family tells the Sun. "Amy told him she couldn't do that. It was all or nothing and she gave up completely."

Adds the source: "Abstinence gave her body such a fright they thought it was eventually the cause of her death."

Reports have claimed that the Grammy Award-winning singer had fallen off the wagon only three days before her July 23 death, when she was allegedly seen drinking gin and Red Bull at the iTunes festival at the Roundhouse in Camden, North London.

In his eulogy at Amy's funeral, Mitch Winehouse denied the rumors that his daughter had been on a bender before her death. "He wanted everyone to know that he, her boyfriend and her manager believed it was actually the complete opposite," says the same insider. "Mitch said the shock of giving up, after everything she had been through over a bad few years, was just too much for her to take."

Whether alcohol withdrawal is the culprit in Winehouse's case remains to be seen, but it is certainly a possibility. Doctor Carol Cooper tells the Sun that the sudden shock of withdrawal could have led to a seizure so violent that it caused her death. "The heaviest drinkers have a particularly severe form of alcohol withdrawal called delirium tremens, or DTs," says Cooper. "They may fall into a stupor and sleep it off, or lapse into a coma -- or have dangerous seizures."

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