How Prince Concealed His Opioid Addiction

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How Prince Concealed His Opioid Addiction


Search warrants and affidavits were unsealed this past Monday, April 17, revealing that the deceased rock star Prince had a habit of hiding opiates in over-the-counter aspirin and vitamin bottles.

Prince was found dead on April 21, 2016, in the elevator of his Minnesota home after an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a drug often used to manufacture counterfeit pills that are sold on the black market as oxycodone. A strict follower of clean living, the musician suffered from chronic hip pain, which is believed to have led to his opioid abuse. According to newly released court documents related to the investigation, “a sizable amount” of narcotic painkillers for which he did not have prescriptions were found at the time of his death, including some hidden in bottles of everyday products like Bayer and Aleve.

Just before his death, Prince sought help from Dr. Michael Schulenberg (who admitted he wrote an oxycodone prescription for him under the name Kirk Johnson, Prince’s aide and close friend, for privacy). Warrants dated from April to September of 2016 show that investigators had been surveilling Johnson and his role in Prince’s drug abuse for quite some time. It is still a mystery, however, as to where Prince got the lethal opioid fentanyl that ultimately killed him.