The Midwest Medical Examiner’s office released Prince’s autopsy results Thursday morning, revealing that the music legend died of an accidental opioid overdose after he “self-administered” the drug fentanyl.
Fentanyl is a powerful opiate painkiller that is 50 times more potent than heroin and has an extremely high risk for addiction and dependence, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Investigators had been looking into whether the controlled substance played a role in the late musician’s death after he was found “unresponsive” in an elevator at his Minneapolis-area home on April 21.
DEA agents obtained a search warrant for Prince’s Paisley Park estate in early May, revealing that Prince had met with a doctor at his home the day before he died. Although the doctor’s diagnosis was not revealed, it was determined that the doctor had performed tests on the star and prescribed him medication.
While Prince’s attorney L. Londell McMillan has insisted that the 57-year-old lived a clean lifestyle and was “not on any drugs that would be cause for concern,” multiple sources have confirmed that Prince had a history of using the painkiller Percocet to cope with ongoing pain he developed have years of onstage performances.
It has also been revealed that Prince was scheduled to meet with an addiction specialist the day after his death, after a close source contacted California’s Recovery Without Walls outpatient addiction clinic stating that the musician was “dealing with a grave medical emergency.” Many people assume the “medical emergency” was a reference to Prince’s addiction to prescription drugs.
There has been a recent surge in lethal fentanyl overdoses across the country. According to the Associated Press, over 700 fentanyl-related overdoses were reported to the DEA in 2014, and those numbers have continued to rise.
Inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, Prince was known for his over-the-top performances and award-winning music, with his 1984 Purple Rain album been acclaimed as one of the greatest albums of all time.
A small, intimate family funeral is scheduled for the late-musician in August.