One year after the world-renowned pop icon Prince died from a fentanyl overdose, search warrants from the artist’s death have been unsealed. They shed new light on the singer’s private battle with opioid addiction and withdrawal, revealing the fact that Prince’s doctor wrote him prescriptions for opioids in his bodyguard’s name shortly before his death. Documents also revealed that Prince concealed his addiction from others by hiding opiate medications in aspirin bottles.
While Prince is reported to have died from a fentanyl overdose, fentanyl is far from the only opioid
the artist is likely to have consumed in the months prior to his passing.
The opiates Prince may have used in the days prior to his death include:
- Percocet: During interviews with authorities, Prince’s bodyguard claimed that he may have taken a percocet during the plane ride on which the singer overdosed.
- OxyContin: Dr. Michael Schulenberg prescribed the singer OxyContin 1 week before his death. Dr. Schulenberg said that he prescribed the medication in the name of Kirk Johnson, Prince’s bodyguard, in order to protect his privacy.
- Hydrocodone: Investigators found medication hidden in aspirin bottles throughout Prince’s home. The medications found included approximately 100 pills labeled as Watson 853, a commercially produced mixture of acetaminophen and hydrocodone.
- Fentanyl: When tested, the pills labeled as Watson 853 contained traces of Fentanyl. However, investigators are unsure of whether any of these pills may have contributed to the singer’s death.
Prince’s Fentanyl Overdose is Just One of an Increasing Number of Deaths Associated with Fentanyl
According to the CDC, from 2014 to 2015, the death rate from synthetic opioids other than methadone increased by 72.2%. This statistic includes drugs like tramadol, fentanyl, and carfentanil. Reports from individual states indicate that while synthetic opioid deaths are rising, prescribing rates for fentanyl have not.
Therefore, this data likely indicates that the increase in fentanyl overdose deaths is mostly due to illegally manufacturer versions of the drug. Overdose deaths may also be associated with illicit dealers cutting other opiates with illegal fentanyl, much like the Watson 853 pills which may have contributed to Prince’s opiate overdose and eventual death.
Prince’s drug overdose is a sad reminder that no matter how wealthy, famous, or loved an individual is, nothing can protect a person from drug addiction but themselves. Like many other well-intentioned Americans, Prince believed in living a clean lifestyle free of alcohol, drugs, and other risky behaviors. However, a combination of severe hip pain, the anxiety of being a professional performer, and other physical and psychological factors led him to begin using pain medication, and when he started, he couldn’t stop.
In many cases, wealth and fame only make it easier to hide an addiction. With nearly endless money, private doctors, planes, and cars on call, wealthier addiction sufferers can both afford drugs and have the resources to live, work, and travel privately so others will not see the extent of their addition. However, this does not mean they are not suffering– and they, too need effective and compassionate drug addiction treatment.
At Get Treatment, we understand just how difficult it can be to deal with an addiction to opioids. Social stigma, anxiety, and depression can make it intimidating to attempt to get help, but it shouldn’t have to be. Get Treatment’s network of professionally accredited addiction treatment centers each help patients through every single stage of the rehabilitation process. Let us help you find the right opioid rehab center that fits your needs for recovery.