As time moves forward and investigations continue after the death of Prince, questions have begun to arise on the exact nature of his death. As speculations of an overdose of prescription pills make their way into mainstream news, many have begun to wonder if the famous pop-star icon was indeed addicted to pharmaceutical medicine.
While it’s still unclear if Prince did indeed die of an overdose, there are accounts that the pop star was struggling with addiction for years. Although most think of him as one of the few stars who lived a life of sobriety, there are others that concede Prince had been using pills for years.
Days before his death, Prince apparently overdosed on Percocet that he had taken after his last concert in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s been reported that his plane made an emergency stop in Illinois and that when the plane landed he was found unconscious inside. It was here he was given the “save-shot” Naloxone, which works by reversing the effects of opioids in the brain.
If all is indeed true, this means that the legendary pop-star was just like the other 2 million people plus in the United States that are addicted to opioid prescription medications. After Prince’s death, his former drug dealer stepped forward to reveal that the star had been secretly addicted to opiates for at least 25 years. When his former drug dealer met him for the first time in 1984 when Prince was filming Purple Rain, he said that the star was “already majorly addicted to opiates.”
Prince wasn’t only taking pills pain he had for a former hip injury, but for the extreme stage fright he experienced while performing. Sources close to the star reveal that the performer suffered from extreme nervousness and needed the drugs he took to present himself in public. According to the drug dealer that supplied Prince with prescription meds for years Prince was “scared to go out in public, he was scared to talk to people and didn’t like to go on stage.” He also revealed that Prince had “the worst case of stage fright” he’d ever seen.
There are many people (not just performers) who rely on prescription pills to counteract the nervous energy and anxiety they feel. Opiates are known to reduce social anxiety and make people that suffer from this condition more apt to deal with social situations. The fact that Prince suffered from extreme bouts of nervousness and anxiety make the possibility of his long-standing addiction all the more possible.
His drug dealer has revealed that Prince regularly bought drugs from him for years. From 1984 to 2008, he claimed that he supplied Prince with a steady stream of drugs for years and that the star had developed a “major tolerance” to opioid medications. Prince was using Fentanyl for years, which is a synthetic opioid patch that is some 80-100 times stronger than morphine and up to 50 times stronger than heroin. These patches, which are worn like a nicotine patch, deliver a constant supply of the drug for 72 hours.
At the same time he was also taking Dilaudid, which is a highly addictive, heroin-based opiate. Unlike heroin however, Dilaudid gives you an energy buzz while also relaxing you. If Prince was indeed addicted to both of these highly addictive opioid-based substances, the possibility of an overdose is very real.
According to his former dealer Prince was buying 20 boxes of Fentanyl at a time. Each box contains 5 patches, and each patch costs between $200-300. He believes Prince’s habit was costing him around $300 a day and at one time the singer spent around $40,000 on a large supply.
He also says that Prince’s drug use was restricted to solely popping pills. He allegedly never smoked, used cocaine or drank alcohol. In the public eye he was a sober superstar, but privately Prince was deeply addicted.
His use of prescription opioids would increase depending on what was going on in his life. During times he was performing or playing big shows, Prince would use more than normal. And during even during times when he was number one on the charts or doing particularly well in his career, the public eye and masses of people surrounding him would prove to be too much and he would use more.
He would also purchase more drugs when his fame was falling. According to his former drug dealer “it was like he was afraid of the fame, but then when it was gone he’d miss it and crave it.”
In the time leading to his death Prince was being prescribed Percocet, which is the substance he overdosed on just days before he died. If Prince’s opioid addiction was a strong as it seems it was, the Percocet could have been too much for his body to handle.
With 6 out of 10 fatal overdoses now involving prescription opioids, the chances that Prince did indeed overdose is become frighteningly real. Unfortunately, people are dying from prescription overdoses every day, and simply because Prince was the iconic star he was doesn’t make him invincible to this fact.
If Prince did die from an overdose, perhaps it can shed some light on this frightening epidemic of prescription pain pill addiction that has become so prevalent in our society. Every day, some 70 plus people die from a fatal prescription pill overdose, and it seems that Prince, the beloved icon people worshiped for years, has become yet another tragic statistic in this seemingly unending epidemic.