Actress Amanda Peterson of Can’t Buy Me Love fame passed away mysteriously on July 3. While it was not clear at the time what killed her, new reports have surfaced showing that the 43-year-old accidentally overdosed on self-administered morphine pills.

The coroner’s report states that Peterson, who was found dead on July 5 at her house in Greeley Colorado, underwent a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) a short while before her death, and was prescribed Gabapentin for pain management post-surgery.

But the report also showed that the actress had a drug cocktail in her system, with drugs for treating anxiety (benzodiazepine) and psychosis (phenothiazine) among several other opiates. TMZ added that marijuana, which is legal in Colorado, was also detected in her system, although it’s believed that the morphine in Gabapentin is ultimately what killed her. Peterson had ingested more than six times the regular prescribed dose, which led to respiratory failure.


Before she passed away, it is said that Peterson informed someone about receiving the deadly drug from a friend to deal with pain. However, shortly after the troubled star’s untimely death, her mother, Sylvia Peterson, admitted to Entertainment Weekly that her daughter did struggle with drugs earlier, but was sure that she was clean. She maintained that her daughter did not die of a drug overdose at the time, saying, “This was not, in any way, a drug thing.”

Peterson’s death came after a string of arrests over the past 13 years, out of which few involved narcotics equipment possession. A timeline of mugshots document her apparent declining health, although her family claims that she was fine in her final days.

Peterson retired from show business at the early age of 23, after just eight years in it, and moved to her native Colorado, where she got married twice and started a family. She was apparently thought to be working on an autobiography while going to school.

Corcoran, K., “Can’t Buy Me Love star Amanda Peterson ‘died of huge morphine overdose after self-medicating with drug to control pain,Daily Mail web site, September 3, 2015.
“Amanda Peterson,” Wikipedia web site, last accessed September 3, 2015.

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