Amanda Peterson Cause of Death Was Accidental Drug Overdose: Report

Amanda Peterson
Can't Buy Me Love star Amanda Peterson reportedly died of a "morphine effect" from an accidental drug overdose Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage

Amanda Peterson's cause of death has been revealed. According to TMZ, which cited the Weld County Coroner in Colorado, the Can't Buy Me Love actress died of respiratory failure brought on by a "morphine effect" from an accidental drug overdose.

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Peterson, who was found dead at age 43 on July 5 at her home in Greeley, Colo., reportedly had several different prescription drugs in her system when she passed away. TMZ listed benzodizepines, opiates, phenothiazines, and marijuana. 

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The site zeroed in on the presence of one particular drug, gabapentin, noting that it was "prescribed for pain and the medical examiner said she had six times the normal level in her system." 

Per the toxicology report, Peterson also told someone a week before her death that she had taken morphine medication obtained from friends.

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Her mother, Sylvia, told Entertainment Tonight after her daughter's passing that Peterson had struggled with drugs and depression following her rise to fame as Patrick Dempsey's leading lady in 1987's Can't Buy Me Love. The actress also had at least one narcotics-related arrest in 2012.

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Sylvia told ET, however, that her daughter was in a good place when she died. "This was not, in any way, a drug thing," she said. "Amanda was in very good spirits." She added to Us, "I just think she was a precious person and it's a big loss."

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