Nearly two years after Prince’s death, we’re still learning more about what led to the demise of one of the greatest musicians of all time.
On Monday, The Associated Press obtained Prince’s confidential toxicology report and had it analyzed by experts who concluded the singer had an “exceedingly high” amount of fentanyl in his system when he passed away.
“The amount in his blood is exceedingly high, even for somebody who is a chronic pain patient on fentanyl patches,” explained Dr. Lewis Nelson, chairman of emergency medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Nelson called the high amount “a pretty clear smoking gun” that the potent drug, which is 50 times more powerful than heroin, directly led to Prince’s untimely death.
According to the report, elevated levels of the drug were found Prince’s blood, liver and stomach, which could hint at long-term use. While chronic fentanyl users can often build up an increased tolerance to the drug, the amount found in the musician’s system “seem to represent overdose or fatal toxicity cases,” according to The AP’s experts.
Prince was found dead in an elevator in his home on April 21, 2016. After suffering a hip injury years ago, friends say the musician, who shied away from alcohol and recreational drugs, lived in constant pain and turned to painkillers to find relief. After his death, investigators found “a sizable amount” of unprescribed pills in Prince’s home, which may have contributed to his accidental overdose