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GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 03:  Musician Tom Petty performs at the Bridgestone halftime show during Super Bowl XLII between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots on February 3, 2008 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
History - Science
Tom Petty suffered a cardiac arrest in his Malibu home in September 2017 and was declared dead on October 2. Petty already suffered from coronary artery disease and took medication for hip and knee problems, in addition to his emphysema medication.
“Petty: The Biography” chronicles how the musician started using heroin to cope after his divorce from his first wife, and while he would try to quit, his attempts failed. Petty’s autopsy and toxicology report showed that his official cause of death was “multisystem organ failure due to resuscitated cardiopulmonary arrest due to mixed drug toxicity.”
According to Turnbridge, there were several drugs in his system at the time of his death, including fentanyl, citalopram, alprazolam, oxycodone, and temazepam. Most of these drugs were legally prescribed for Petty's pain, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
Petty’s wife, Dana, said that his death could have been prevented if he had gotten a hip replacement and canceled his tour, but Petty insisted on touring, since he didn't want to disappoint anyone. Petty's drummer, Steve Ferrone, said that Petty took oxycontin before shows to get through them, and at times needed help going to and from the stage.