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Amanda Peterson's cause of death proves it could have been avoided

Christina Marfice


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Christina is a reporter based in Boise, Idaho. She's a veteran vegetarian, a political junkie and a huge grammar snob. On the weekends, she can usually be found binging on Netflix, playing the piano or petting her cats, Daisy and Dandelion.

Remember Amanda Peterson for her legacy, not for her death

A report has revealed what caused Amanda Peterson's death.

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TMZ, citing a coroner's report from Weld County, Colorado, is reporting that the Can't Buy Me Love actress died of respiratory failure caused by a "morphine effect" that came from an accidental drug overdose.

Peterson, who was 43 at the time of her death, was found July 5 at her home in Greeley, Colorado. TMZ says the actress had multiple drugs in her system when she died, including benzodiazepines, opiates, phenothiazines and marijuana.

According to TMZ, it was one particular drug, Gabapentin, that may have been the ultimate culprit in the star's early death. The drug was "prescribed for pain and the medical examiner said she had six times the normal level in her system," according to the site.

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A toxicology report also shows that Peterson admitted a week before her death to taking morphine medication she obtained illegally from friends.

Peterson's mother, Sylvia, opened up to Entertainment Tonight following her daughter's death about Peterson's drug addiction and depression that followed her meteoric rise to fame after starring alongside Patrick Dempsey in 1987's Can't Buy Me Love. But drugs were the one thing Sylvia said at the time weren't responsible for her daughter's death, showing just how easily drug addiction can blindside a family.

"This was not, in any way, a drug thing," she said, adding that Peterson was happy and in a good place when she died. "Amanda was in very good spirits… I just think she was a precious person and it's a big loss."

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Do you have any memories of Peterson's career legacy to share? Head down to the comments and tell us about your favorite.

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