The world was shocked when music icon, Prince passed away this April at just 57 years of age and even more alarming were the initial reports suggested that it may have been due to an overdose. Toxicology reports for Prince showed a possibly fatal combination of Percocet and Buprenorphine in his system but more information is needed to determine the final cause.
The reality of Prince's drug use came as a surprise to many people as he had a reputation even among those closest to him for living a clean lifestyle free from alcohol or marijuana. However, some of Prince's friends became aware that he had a serious problem with pain pills and it was this issue that led them to contact Dr. Howard Kornfeld of California who specializes in addiction to pain medication.
Kornfeld sent his son on an overnight flight to meet with Prince in order to discuss a treatment plan. When he arrived at Prince's home, however, he was among those that discovered the star lifeless in the elevator and called 911. Prince could not be revived and he was pronounced dead on April 21st.
Issues with Pain and Medication
As police continue to investigate what led to Prince's death, there has been mounting evidence that he was seriously addicted and dependent on pain medication. Many of his friends deny ever seeing the pop star take any kind of pill let alone abuse painkillers but some of Prince's representatives were concerned for him after he went unresponsive on his private jet.
Prince insisted that he was fine and there was nothing wrong with him but evidence shows that he may have been keeping his addiction private. Prince suffered from issues of hip pain after years of performing on stage and had received surgery for his hip in the mid-2000s for which he was prescribed pain medication.
Friends believed Prince to be in good spirits prior to his death as he had invited over about 200 guests to unveil his new purple guitar and piano the previous Saturday. He had begun working on his memoirs and had tour dates lined up in eight cities across the U.S. But others closest to him wondered if he was struggling with depression.
Hiding His Addiction and Emotional State
Prince's ailments and issues with pain were limiting his ability to tour and he was struggling with death of a former girlfriend and collaborator named Denise Matthews. The star had told people that he was feeling depressed and his friend's death made him very emotional. He had begun to shun doing large scale tours and concerts in favor of smaller, more intimate shows for his most devoted fans.
Prince may have had issues of shame about his addiction due to his intense spirituality and beliefs as a practicing Jehovah's Witness. He had been a member of the church since 2003 and would go door to door as a witness to introduce others to the faith.
During his most recent tour Prince claimed he was feeling sick and wanted to cancel some of his shows before he became unresponsive on his private jet. He was rushed to the hospital where he was given a Narcan shot which is typically administered to those experiencing an opioid overdose. Prince chose to change the narrative of the story claiming that he had the flu but was now fine.
Less than a week later, Prince passed away at his home in Minneapolis where law enforcement are now trying to investigate the events that led to his death. Although many of his friends were in disbelief that Prince could have had a drug dependency, there is gathering evidence that pain medication was a serious issue for him and could possibly be a factor in his death.
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