The drug that killed Prince revealed
- Medical officials confirmed that Prince died of an accidental fentanyl overdose
- Fentanyl is one of the main culprits in the current opioid abuse crisis in the U.S.
- Prince was found dead at his Paisley Park residence in Minnesota in April 2016
The opioid crisis currently plaguing the United States can now count one of the most iconic and best-selling musicians of all time as one of its victims.
Medical examiners confirmed that celebrated musician Prince died of an accidental fentanyl overdose at his Paisley Park home in Minnesota almost two years ago on April 21, 2016. The confirmation of his death from an opioid overdose is only the latest in a years-long crisis that’s gripped virtually every region of the United States.
Here’s all you need to know about what fentanyl is, where it comes from, what the response from the government has been, its prevalence in the United States, and what Prince's net worth was when he passed away.
What is fentanyl?
Fentanyl is an opioid often used as a pain medication or anesthetic when combined with other medications. Its effects usually last one to two hours after a rapid onset. Fentanyl can be taken a number of ways, including orally or through a skin patch.
It was first created by Belgian physician Paul Janssen in 1960 and approved for medical usage in 1968 in the United States. The substance is known to be extremely powerful, being about 75 times stronger than morphine and even 50 times stronger than heroin.
Typical side effects include sleepiness, confusion and nausea, although much more serious side effects include addiction, low blood pressure and respiratory depression, a lowered effort to breathe that can potentially lead to death if not addressed by a medical professional quickly.
Although originally intended as a painkiller with medicinal uses, the substance has increasingly been used an illicit recreational drug and is often made illegally. More than 20,000 deaths occurred in the United States in 2016 from fentanyl overdoses alone.
‘It is so potent and so deadly that even a microgram amount can kill someone,’ stated Drug Enforcement Agency spokesman Rusty Payne in The Guardian.
Payne also stated: ‘Some are abusing fentanyl knowing what it is, some are abusing heroin laced with fentanyl, some are taking fake OxyContin pills.’
What was Prince’s net worth?
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Prince’s net worth was thought to be approximately $300 million (£211.7 million).