Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Samuel Alioto
Observer Staff Writer 

No Prescription: Counterfeit Pills Apparently Killed Prince Rogers Nelson (Fentanyl)

Pills in Prince's home marked "acetaminophen-hydrocodone" actually contained fentanyl, suggesting they were counterfeit pills obtained illegally

 

August 24, 2016

Prince died of an overdose of the powerful opioid fentanyl, according to autopsy results released in June. Among the questions investigators were reviewing was whether Prince had a prescription for painkillers before his death.

Michael Jackson's addiction to the painkiller Propofol killed him. Now, a man working the investigation of Prince's death told The Associated Press that pills found in Prince's home marked as acetaminophen-hydrocodone actually contained fentanyl, suggesting they were counterfeit pills obtained illegally.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he'd be fired if his identity were to become known. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_PRINCE_DEATH_FENTANYL_MNOL-?SITE=RIPAW&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

Fentanyl is estimated to have 50 times the potency as pure, pharmacy-grade heroin and about 100 times the potency of morphine. As of 2012 fentanyl was the most widely used synthetic opioid in clinical practice, with several new delivery methods now available, including a sublingual spray for cancer patients.

Fentanyl is also used as a recreational drug, and this use has led to hundreds of overdose deaths each year in recent years. Deaths have also resulted from improper medical use, says Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fentanyl

Fentanyl has a relatively wide therapeutic index; which makes it a very safe surgical anesthetic when monitored carefully, however its extreme potency requires careful measurements of highly diluted fentanyl in solution; attempting to accurately measure a dose of pure fentanyl powder is impractical without advanced scientific equipment as an effective dose and a lethal dose of fentanyl powder placed next to each other would be difficult or impossible to differentiate with the naked eye.

Prescription opioid overdoses reached nearly 19,000 in 2014, the highest number on record. Total opioid overdoses surpassed 29,000 that year when combined with heroin, which some abusers switch to after becoming hooked on painkillers.

Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016) was an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor. He was a musical innovator and known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, extravagant dress and makeup, and wide vocal range. His music integrates a wide variety of styles, including funk, rock, R&B, new wave, soul, psychedelia, and pop. He has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time.

He won seven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award for the film Purple Rain. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, the first year of his eligibility. Rolling Stone ranked Prince at number 27 on its list of 100 Greatest Artists-"the most influential artists of the rock & roll era".

Prince was born in Minneapolis and developed an interest in music as a young child.

He signed a recording contract with Warner Bros. at the age of 18, and released his debut album For You in 1978. His 1979 album Prince went platinum, and his next three records-Dirty Mind (1980), Controversy (1981), and 1999 (1982)-continued his success, showcasing Prince's prominently sexual lyrics and blending of funk, dance, and rock music.

Prince died of an overdose of the powerful opioid fentanyl, according to autopsy results released in June. Among the questions investigators were reviewing was whether Prince had a prescription for painkillers before his death.

In 1984, he began referring to his backup band as the Revolution and released Purple Rain, which served as the soundtrack to his eponymous 1984 film debut and was met with widespread acclaim. After releasing the albums Around the World in a Day (1985) and Parade (1986), The Revolution disbanded, and Prince released the double album Sign o' the Times (1987) as a solo artist. He released three more solo albums before debuting the New Power Generation band in 1991.

In 1993, while in a contractual dispute with Warner Bros., he changed his stage name to an unpronounceable symbol also known as the "Love Symbol", and began releasing new albums at a faster pace to remove himself from contractual obligations. He released five records between 1994 and 1996 before signing with Arista Records in 1998. In 2000, he began referring to himself as "Prince" again. He released 16 albums after that, including The Rainbow Children (2001). His final album, Hit n Run Phase Two, was first released on the Tidal streaming service on December 12, 2015. Prince died from a fentanyl overdose at his Paisley Park recording studio and home in Chanhassen, Minnesota, on April 21, 2016, at the age of 57.

 

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