The Midwest Medical Examiner's Office in Ramsey, MN in US found the mystery behind the great musician's death. Entertainer and Iconoclast in the true sense of the term, Prince's death was due to drug overdose. The medical examiner said Prince Rogers Nelson, 57, self-administered a deadly dose of the synthetic opiate fentanyl by accident, a report released publicly on Thursday, June 2 said.
National Institute on Drug Abuse states, fentanyl, a schedule II drug, is typically used to "treat patients with severe pain." As Minnesota Public Radio reports: "Fentanyl is one of the most dangerous opioid painkillers, said Dr. Charles Reznikoff, an addiction medicine specialist at Hennepin County Medical Center. "'Fentanyl is what I call the Ebola of opioids. The reason I call it that is Fentanyl kills you quickly, very quickly, as opposed to many of the other opioids that take a long time and are less apt to kill you in overdose,' Reznikoff said."
Powder drugs. Image source Wikimedia Commons
"Seizures of fentanyl have increased significantly in the past couple of years. It's one part of the country's opioid epidemic," says spokesman Lawrence Payne of Drug Enforcement Administration. Two-thirds of deaths in the U.S involved some kind of drug (opioids) as stated by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Payne also said that the Drug Enforcement Administration is seeing more and more fentanyl both alone and mixed with heroin.
A bottle of Heroin. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
"From what we know, most heroin users are not aware of what they are consuming is in fact Fentanyl rather than heroin," Payne told Carrie Johnson of NPR. "This can be attributed to a majority of the opiate-related overdoses we are seeing. The users are not accustomed to consuming such a powerful dose and most think it is the same dose of heroin rather than Fentanyl, which is 25 time to 50 times stronger."
Prince's overdose made him the most high profile victim of the opioid epidemic. Fentanyl is a prescription as well as a street drug, nobody knows how he (Prince) acquired this drug or why he was taking it.
Representatives from Prince's office had contacted Dr Howard Kornfeld, nation authority on addiction, seeking help for the singer. The doctor immediately sent his son, but ultimately it was too late. Mr Andrew Kornfeld was among those who found Prince dead in the elevator at his Paisley Park compound.
–by Vrushali Mahajan, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: Vrushali Mahajan