Why Was Prince Taking Fentanyl?

prince opioid

Why was Prince taking opioid painkillers? He may have been taking Percocet due to problems with his hip. (Getty)

A source close to the investigation of Prince’s death has confirmed that he died of an opioid overdose. Prince had a long history of health problems, focused specifically on issues with his hip. Although his family has not addressed exactly why Prince was taking opioids, family and friends close the musician have provided reasons why he may have become addicted to the painkillers.

Here’s what you need to know.

The medical examiner who performed Prince’s toxicology has confirmed that Prince died from a Fentanyl overdose, according to TMZ. In addition, a previous source had confirmed that Percocet was found in Prince’s system when he died.

Friends close to Prince have said that he may have been taking highly addictive painkillers because of severe hip pain he was struggling with ever since his Purple Rain tour, New York Daily News reported. Fentanyl is prescribed for chronic and severe pain. (Read more about Fentanyl here.)

Sky Dangcil, a musical collaborator with Prince, told Us Weekly that Prince had taken opioids to keep the show going when his pain became unbearable. His hairstylist, Kim Berry, said that he was always in pain. He did sleepless recording sessions and worked round-the-clock, and that may have made his addiction worse, she speculated.

Prince had hip replacement surgery in 2010, according to Us Weekly. He was often seen walking onto stage with a cane because of his hip pain.

Duane Nelson, Prince’s half-brother who has since passed away, used to get Percocet for Prince to take after his shows, CNN reported. He said Prince didn’t use the drug recreationally, but only for pain, according to a former attorney of Prince. Nelson died in 2013.

On April 20, the night before his death, Prince’s representatives called Howard Kornfeld, an addiction researcher, about a “grave medical emergency,” the Star Tribune reported. Prince had also met with a doctor, Michael Todd Schulenberg, days before his death. Schulenberg had written Prince prescriptions for painkillers in the past.

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