(UPDATED) Prince’s Opiate Use: Death from Fentanyl Overdose
UPDATE 6/3/16: The toxicology report is in: Prince died from an accidental fentanyl overdose. It’s not clear if Prince had a legal prescription for the drug, or if he was abusing the substance illicitly. Prince was slated to see an addiction specialist before his death. He will be forever missed. His death is not in vain if we learn from his mistakes. Do not wait to get help for addiction. It will cost you your life when you least expect it.
UPDATE: New reports claim that Prince died only one day before he was scheduled to meet with an opiate addiction specialist. Prince Opiate Addict: true or false? Here’s what those who knew him have to say. Did Prince’s opiate use contribute to his sometimes outlandish behavior?
2016 has not been a kind year for the world of art, music, and film. It seems like every week there’s a new report of a beloved celebrity unexpectedly passing away, leaving the world in shock and mourning. On April 21, 2016, the world of music was rocked yet again by the untimely death of music legend Prince, who died suddenly at the age of 57.
Tributes and memorials around the world spoke of the international and cross-generational impact that Prince had throughout his career; some of our favorite musicians, comedians, actors, and filmmakers spoke out in fond memory of their experiences with Prince and how he inspired them to be who they are unapologetically. The LBGTQ+ community praised the late singer for being a pioneer in gender fluidity, unafraid to live outside of social mores.
Prince’s death marks the end of an era for some; his death completes a morbid and tragic royal triad with the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, the Queen of the Night, Whitney Houston, and now, eternally dancing in the Purple Rain, Prince.
Perhaps what’s most shocking about Prince’s passing are the sudden allegations regarding Prince’s opiate addiction. Prince was a very private, particular man, who reportedly didn’t so much as allow cursing in his presence; he had expectations regarding the behavior of those in his personal circle and was even pickier about the people he worked with, famously declining a collaboration with Michael Jackson on the song ‘Bad.’ Prince was also a religious man, devoted to his faith as a Jehovah’s Witness, which placed restrictions on his diet, social life, and medical treatments.
To say that these allegations of cocaine abuse or involving Prince’s opiate use has outraged some of his fans is an understatement.
Unfortunately it seems like more and more evidence is coming forward to support these claims. The latest person to step forward with allegations following Prince’s death is a German woman who claims Prince’s opiate addiction was revealed to her five years ago, prompting her to call the police in fear that the music legend was in danger.
Seems far fetched, I know, but the police do in fact have a record of the incident. According to the New York Daily News:
“(Prince) advised her last year in Germany [meaning 2010] that he cannot control his habit and she is advised to report it.”
At the time, a number of factors left the police unable to do anything with this information- namely, that she waited a year to release it, she was calling from Germany, and they had no evidence that Prince was in immediate danger.
That makes you wonder: if she was telling the truth all those years ago, and police had been able to act, would he have been able to become sober? It’s been reported that at the very least, Prince had developed Percocet dependency resulting from the severe pain he lived with following a hip injury. Percocet is a powerful opioid medication and the drug was reportedly behind the April 15th emergency landing of his private plane.
Prince’s opiate use caused him to overdose on the painkiller and require a shot of Narcan, a medication capable of reversing the effects of an overdose. Just six days later, Prince was found dead in an elevator in his home, Paisley Park.
While sources close to the late singer deny knowing about any drug abuse problem, a lawyer for two of his half-siblings who have passed as well claims it was an open secret among his family members. As of right now there is no known cause of death, though an overdose has not been ruled out, as investigators are working to determine if the drugs found in his home were prescribed to him or not.
Fans around the world are upset by what they claim is an attempt to tarnish Prince’s name post-homenously. Either way, Prince’s legacy will live on: there is a reported vault of unreleased music from the iconic singer which may be released for public consumption in the future.
Do you think Prince’s death was caused by an overdose? Let us know what you think!
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About the Author
Alexandrea Holder is a South Florida native working toward double Master’s degrees in Psychology and English. She finds the psychological aspects of addiction and mental illness fascinating, as both are prevalent in her family’s history. When not researching and spreading addiction awareness, Alexandrea enjoys sparring, artistic pursuits, and admiring puppies online.