Prince death: Documents reveal illegal pill addiction
Court documents reveal how Prince concealed an addiction to illegally prescribed opioid painkillers before his death.
Bottles of oxycodone painkillers disguised as vitamin C and aspirin were found in several places at the late artist’s Paisley Park estate.
Documents released on Monday detail how Prince received opioid prescriptions under his bodyguard’s name to sustain his addiction to the drug.
Dr Michael Todd Schulenberg allegedly said in a testimonial that he had written at least one prescription for oxycodone in the name of Kirk Johnson, Prince’s friend and bodyguard, for the star’s “privacy”.
But the physician’s attorney, Amy Conners, has disputed this – and said in a statement that the doctor “never directly prescribed opioids to Prince, nor did he ever prescribe opioids to any other person with the intent that they would be given to Prince”.
Although helpful for the investigation into the artist’s accidental overdose, these findings have no connection to the drug which ultimately led to his death.
Last year, authorities recovered falsely labelled bottles of pills in his home containing fentanyl – and a post-mortem last June revealed he had died from an accidental, self-administered overdose of the drug.
Investigators are yet to determine how he obtained the synthetic opioid, which is 50 times more potent than heroin.
Fentanyl is often used to manufacture counterfeit pills which are then sold as oxycodone in the black market.
Prince was found dead in the elevator of his home in Chanhassen, Minnesota, by Mr Johnson on 21 April last year.
Writing a prescription under another person’s name violates state and federal law, but authorities say no one has yet been charged in connection to his death.
Investigators said on Monday that, before his death, Prince had been “going through withdrawals, which are believed to be the result of the abuse of prescription medication”.
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