Legendary performer Prince died as a result of an “accidental” drug overdose after he “self-administered fentanyl.” It was originally theorized he might have overdosed on Percocet, which is also a prescription painkiller.
Although Percocet is more widely known than fentanyl, the drug that killed the “Purple Rain” singer is the more potent of the two. In fact, fentanyl is more powerful than morphine, according to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). It is most commonly used to manage pain after surgical procedures or to treat patients with severe pain. It is also given to people with cancer, WebMD reported.
Fentanyl’s strength has made it a hot item among drug users on the street, where NIDA said its nicknames include Apache, China girl, China white, dance fever, friend, goodfella, jackpot, murder 8, TNT, and Tango and Cash.
A strong synthetic opiate pain reliever, fentanyl works like heroin and morphine. It binds to parts of the brain that control emotion and pain. When ingested, it can (and frequently does) induce a state of euphoria and relaxation.
Fentanyl was among the drugs that were found in Michael Jackson’s system after his death. Along with Propofol, it contributed to his untimely demise.
Prince’s death was ruled not a suicide but an accidental overdose by the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office in Ramsey, Minnesota. The performer was discovered unconscious in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate in Chanhassen, about 30 miles south of Ramsey, April 21 at 9:43 a.m. EDT. He reportedly had been dead for six hours before being found by his assistant and drummer, Radar Online said.
Prince was 57 years old. Some media outlets originally reported he died from the flu.
The star’s death is still under investigation. Police are attempting to find out whether a doctor was prescribing drugs for Prince in the weeks before he died. It was previously reported the “Raspberry Beret” singer might have “doctor shopped” — seen more than one physician — so he could obtain multiple prescriptions.
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