Prince’s long-awaited autopsy results reveal the seven-time Grammy winner died from an accidental overdose of the opioid Fentanyl. The 57-year-old music icon was found dead two months ago at his Paisley Park estate in Minnesota.
The report, released by the Midwest Medical Examiner’s office, shows Prince self-administered the opioid, which is allegedly fifty times more potent than heroin.
Fentanyl is used mainly for cancer patients, however it is wreaking havoc all over the United States, with people obtaining it illegally and subsequently overdosing.
Federal Prosecutors and the Drug Enforcement Administration are currently investigating how Prince obtained the drug.
During Friday’s edition of NewsOne Now, guest host Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever spoke with Dr. Murray Riggins, who specializes in addiction medicine, about the dangers of the opioid Fentanyl.
Riggins explained the opioid is used “for people who have intractable pain.” He added, “That’s the pain that’s so strong they just can’t live life without being in excruciating pain every minute of their lives.”
“When used correctly, it’s a very big help, if used incorrectly — well, you see what happens, it can cause death.”
Dr. Riggins said Fentanyl is deadly because it can cause “respiratory depression” and said, “Your body just stops breathing and typically what we find is that people will go to sleep and just don’t wake up.”
In the case of Prince, Riggins said he may have overdosed on the drug while traveling from Atlanta on a private plane. According to media reports, Prince’s aircraft made an “emergency landing after an ‘unresponsive male’ was reported on the plane.”
Riggins also explained that once a person turns to the drug to reach a euphoric state, the original amount of Fentanyl used is not enough to reach the same high. Therefore, an individual will attempt to use more and more, causing the “body to generate more Mu receptors in the brain.”
He added, “These are the receptors that the heroin and the narcotics attach to get the feeling of euphoria.”
Watch guest host Avis Jones DeWeever, Dr. Murray Riggins, and the NewsOne Now panel discuss the dangers of Fentanyl in the video clip above.
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