‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ Star Amanda Peterson Died of Morphine Overdose

By Victoria Kim 09/04/15

An autopsy confirmed what many people suspected.

Amanda Peterson
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A toxicology investigation confirmed that Amanda Peterson, the actress known for her role as Cindy Mancini in the 1987 comedy Can’t Buy Me Love, died of a morphine overdose, the Daily Mail reports.

The Weld County Coroner said Peterson, who was found dead in her home in Greeley, Colo., in July, had ingested large amounts of prescription drugs containing morphine, causing her respiratory system to fail.

The coroner found evidence of a cocktail of drugs in Peterson’s system, including anti-anxiety drug benzodiazepine and anti-psychosis drug phenothiazine. Six times the regular dose of gabapentin was found, as well.

Apparently, Peterson had been self-medicating with drugs she obtained through friends to control pain from unknown causes. The coroner’s report said the actress fell victim to the “morphine effect” because she was “naive to opiates.” Her cause of death had not been disclosed until now.

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight after Peterson’s death, her mother had acknowledged she had a drug problem but was confident that the 43-year-old’s death was not “a drug thing.”

Peterson had a history of drug use and arrests in her hometown of Greeley, where she settled after retiring from the entertainment industry at age 23. According to a report from the Weld County Sheriff’s Office, she had been arrested at least six times between 2000 and 2012 for drug possession, assault, and public intoxication.

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