More information regarding singer/songwriter Prince’s death in April has been uncovered. Pills found in the artist’s Paisley Park residence were labeled as hydrocodone, but actually contained fentanyl. The medical examiner has stated that Prince died on April 21 from an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Two possible scenarios might explain how the singer came in possession of the drug: either the pills were mislabeled by a pharmaceutical manufacturer, or they were obtained illegally.
Fentanyl, “the most powerful painkiller on the market”, is an extremely dangerous opioid medication. It is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. It is unlikely that the pills were mislabeled. If they were, they would have been recalled due to the serious consequences that would have occurred had the public accidentally been sold the drug.
It is not yet known whether or not Prince was aware of the fact that his pills contained fentanyl. Investigators are working under the assumption that he was not aware of the contents of the pills. Back in May, officials looked into Prince’s doctor and the prescription he wrote before the artist’s untimely death.
According to the Star Tribune’s sources, Prince’s toxicology report states that lidocaine, alprazolam and Percocet were also in the singer’s system at the time of his death. The source confirmed that although the toxicology report has not been released, the amount of fentanyl in Prince’s system was so high it would have killed anyone regardless of their stature. Dr. Drew Pinksy, of CNN, stated the combination of fentanyl and alprazolam (a benzodiazepine) might be the cause of Prince’s death. Combining an opioid and a benzodiazepine is a common recipe for overdose.