Rock legend Tom Petty — of long-time band Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers — passed away at his home in Malibu, California on October 2, 2017, at the age of 66. Almost four months after the rocker’s passing, the coroner’s report is revealing the real cause of his death. Tom Petty drug overdose is how this story came to an end.
The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s news release revealed the findings of Petty’s autopsy. According to the release, many prescription opioids originally meant for severe pain were found in his system:
- Acetyl fentanyl
- Despropionyl fentanyl
- Citalopram (an anti-depressant)
Shortly after the medical exam was released, Petty’s family issued a statement on the Tom Petty website. This statement was explaining his passing and honoring his life.
According to their report, Petty had suffered a fractured hip, while still insisting on touring for 53 dates, in the 40th-anniversary tour of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. All the while, the fracture was worsening, while he was also suffering a broken hip. Besides this setback, Petty was also suffering from emphysema and knee problems. He was prescribed medication for the severe pain including fentanyl patches. It was because of this that the Tom Petty drug overdose was found to be an accident.
“We knew before the report was shared with us that he was prescribed various pain medications for a multitude of issues including fentanyl patches,” the statement reads, “And we feel confident that this was, as the coroner found, an unfortunate accident.”
Petty’s death isn’t uncommon. Over the last several years, the United States has seen many accidental drug overdoses relating to opioids. Opioid overdose has taken the lives of Americans throughout the country, as well as other well-known celebrities, such as Prince in 2017. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, among more than 64,000 people are estimated to have died of a drug overdose in 2016. 20,000 of those overdose deaths were related to fentanyl and fentanyl analogs (synthetic opioids.)
The statement from Petty’s family provided recognition on the importance of talking about the opioid epidemic, to raise awareness, and find solutions. Petty’s death was an accident that easily could also happen to another person taking mass amounts of pain medication.
“As a family, we recognize this report may spark a further discussion on the opioid crisis, and we feel that it is a healthy and necessary discussion, and we hope in some way that this report can save lives,” the statement reads, “many people who overdose begin with a legitimate injury or simply do not understand the potency and deadly nature of these medications.”
He lived a long, fulfilled life following a passion that gave many people hope and happiness. While many mourn his death, the recognition of the opioid crisis seems to be positive for his family.
To avoid a Tom Petty drug overdose, it’s vital to seek out help. If you find yourself suffering from opioid abuse, it’s time to find a suitable rehab program. Call Morningside Recovery today at 855-631-2135 to learn about our addiction services.