A 20-YEAR-OLD woman who had stopped using "hard" drugs and alcohol was found dead by her boyfriend at their home with 17 drugs in her system, an inquest heard today.

Zaphia Parker Peterson was found by her boyfriend Michael Crosson at their home on North Lonsdale Road, Ulverston on June 22 last year.

Mother Sharron Coates paid tribute to her daughter after her lengthy battle with drug and alcohol abuse.

She said: "Zaphia was much more positive than she had been a year or two before. Back then there was just no getting through to her.

"She would steal money from us and call us all sorts of names, but once she moved away she became more like herself.

"I spoke to her that weekend because it was father's day the next day and I told her off because she called us really late. She was fine and she was telling us how much she loved us and couldn't wait to see us again."

The inquest, at Barrow Town Hall today (14), heard how Miss Peterson had been on a methadone programme, but was keen to stop and was also self-medicating.

Mrs Coates said: "It was such a shock because we were pulling her back and she was coming out the other side. We had all stopped worrying.

"She moved to Ulverston because she wanted to get away from the drug scene in Kendal.

"We talked quite a bit and I came through to Ulverston and cleaned her flat. We had made up and we were really close again."

Born in Lancaster, Miss Peterson lived in Kendal all her life before moving to Ulverston with her boyfriend.

She was found collapsed on the floor by Mr Crosson when he returned home at around 7pm that night, having been out since noon.

A toxicology report found 17 different drugs in her system, with many within non-fatal, therapeutic levels.

As a result, a postmortem found the cause of death to be bronchopneumonia caused by an underlying, complex drug problem.

In his conclusion of a drug-related death, assistant coroner Paul O'Donnell said: "She was living a rather non-standard, fairly chaotic lifestyle.

"A 20-year-old girl has lost her life to the misuse of drugs which is a huge shame and pity. The loss of someone who, with a free run behind her, had huge potential to do something with her life is a shame.

"Bronchopneumonia is very unusual in someone of Zaphia's age, but it caused a sudden deterioration in her health because of the number of drugs taken in combination in the hours and days leading up to her death.

"The problem with taking so many drugs is that the specific effects of each one combined with another creates an unpredictable outcome.

"It is clear she wasn't using heroin and had removed herself from hard drugs, but was supplementing what she was being prescribed with other things, and that has been fatal."