According to recently unsealed search warrants and affidavits, the cause and events of the Prince death incident are becoming clearer. On April 21, 2016, Prince was found unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park recording studio, and his death was later found to be as a result of an accidental fentanyl overdose.
Fentanyl: One of the Most Dangerous Painkillers
Fentanyl is an opioid prescription drug that people typically take to treat severe pain. However, this is typically in end-stage cancer patients or to relieve labor pain in women. Many doctors also use it as an anesthetic in endoscopic or oral surgeries.
Newly unsealed documents indicate that at least one opioid painkiller had been prescribed to Prince’s bodyguard and was dated April 14, 2016, which was the same day Prince was revived with an anti-overdose drug on an airplane after an Atlanta gig.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, fentanyl can be a very dangerous drug. Not only is it 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine, it is also highly addictive. Additionally, it comes with a higher risk of overdose death because the extreme potency means that the margin of error for over-use is much smaller than with other opioid drugs.
For months, investigators in the Prince death case have been trying to figure out how he attained the fentanyl that ultimately killed him, as there were no opioid prescriptions found under his name.
When it Comes to Privacy, Medical Ethics Lines Often Blur
According to authorities, Prince’s doctor told them that he wrote the prescription to the bodyguard to protect the musician’s privacy. This is a common, yet complicated, practice among the medical advisors of celebrities.
Most states come down hard on doctors that prescribe drugs under another person’s name, and convicted offenders face being banned from prescribing medication by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Still, when it comes to celebrities and privacy, the rules can be a little different, and doctors who set out to protect their patient’s identities are not usually targeted for penalties.
According to two high profile Los Angeles attorneys, celebrities often use aliases in Hollywood medical facilities, often to avoid scrutiny from media outlets about their personal lives. One of the attorneys cited the fact that a client of hers, the doctor of former Playboy model and reality TV star Anna Nicole Smith was acquitted of all charges after Smith died from an accidental overdose that resulted from a toxic mix of sedatives and painkillers in 2007.
Still, doctors involved in celebrity deaths don’t always get off easy. Perhaps one of the most infamous cases was the doctor of Michael Jackson, who served a two-year prison sentence after he was convicted of manslaughter following the King of Pop’s death in 2009. Jackson’s autopsy revealed he died from an accidental overdose of benzodiazepines and propofol, a heavy anesthetic that is often used in hospital intensive care units.
You Don’t Have to End Up In the Same Prince Death and Overdose Situation
With the continuing rise of opioid pain medications being prescribed by medical professionals, more people are getting addicted to painkillers which has led to a tremendous rise in overdose deaths related to prescription painkillers. In addition, the most potent painkillers like fentanyl have such a small margin of error that the risk of a deadly accidental overdose is very high.
At Morningside Recovery, we build personalized addiction treatment services and plans for our patients that are battling with a wide variety of substance addiction, including prescription painkillers. Our unique approach to recovery ensures that you will get sober and stay sober. Call us at 855-631-2135. Our helpline is open 24/7 and our specialists will work with you to help find a treatment plan that works.