Toxicology Released To Public Nearly Two Years After His Death
Next month marks two years since the sudden death of Prince, found dead at the age of 57 at his Paisley Park estate. We learned fairly early on in the investigation into his death that Prince’s death was the result of an accidental overdose of Fentanyl, but his newly released toxicology report gives us an idea of just how much Fentanyl he ingested before dying – and it’s more than a little suspicious.
But first, let’s back up.
What Is Fentanyl, And Why Does It Matter?
Fentanyl is the most powerful opioid in medicine, typically prescribed by doctors for cancer patients. It’s been at the center of America’s opioid crisis, with a dosage as small as 3 micrograms capable of killing an adult.
According to the toxicology report obtained by Associated Press this morning, Prince died with a concentration of 67.8 micrograms per liter in his blood; even scarier, the amount of fentanyl found in his liver was 450 micrograms per kilogram – lightyears away from 69 micrograms per kilogram, the threshold which experts say “[seems] to represent overdose or fatal toxicity cases.”
Toxicology report obtained by AP shows "exceedingly high" levels of opioid fentanyl in Prince's body when he died. https://t.co/M7JLFKT7m0
— The Associated Press (@AP) March 26, 2018
“Exceedingly High” Amounts Found In Prince’s System
Experts are in agreement that the fentanyl found in Prince’s system are “exceedingly high,” and despite reports that he was in extreme pain towards the end of his life and required the use of a cane to get around, the findings in his toxicology report raise several questions. The biggest question of them all, however, relates to Prince’s reputation for being a teetotaler – totally abstaining from the use of drugs and alcohol, going so far as to not even allow them in his home.
There was also a “potentially lethal” amount of fentanyl in Prince’s stomach – a fact that leads Dr. Charles McKay, president of the American College of Medical Toxicology, to believe Prince took the drug orally, revealing that the fentanyl in his blood and liver suggest the substance had time to circulate through his system before it killed him.
Prince, who had been taking opioids to combat chronic hip pain stemming from a hip replacement in 2010, was found dead in his elevator on April 21st, 2016 after being treated just a week before his death for a near-fatal overdose that forced his private plane to make an emergency landing just minutes away from his Paisley Park estate in Minnesota. Found in possession of opioids at the time of his death, it’s also been reported that Prince was scheduled to meet with an addiction specialist just one day after his death due to rising concerns from the singer’s friends, family, and Paisley Park staff.