After Prince’s shocking death last month, more and more evidence is emerging that Prince, who’d always seemed so healthy and present, may have been battling some serious drug issues. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Prince had been planning to meet with Dr. Howard Kornfeld, a specialist in opioid addiction treatment. The night before Prince died, Prince’s representatives called Kornfeld, telling him that Prince was going through a “grave medical emergency,” one related to painkiller addiction. He was scheduled to meet with Kornfeld the day after he died.
Prince’s people had wanted Kornfeld to meet with him the day that Prince actually died, but he’d been unable to clear the schedule. Instead, he made plans to fly to Minnesota to meet with the man. A representative for Kornfeld calls it a “lifesaving mission.” Prince’s body was found in his Paisley Park studio shortly after Kornfeld’s son Andrew arrived to discuss the recovery plan with him, and Andrew was the one who actually called 911 to notify police.
The week before Prince died, he was hospitalized in Illinois after his plane made an emergency landing. At the time, Prince’s reps said that he was dealing with flu symptoms. The Star Tribune now reports that Prince had been overdosing on opioids. His bodyguards carried him to paramedics, where he was given a shot of the anti-overdose drug Narcan. Against medical advice, Prince left the hospital after a few hours.
Meanwhile, the Daily Beast reports that Prince had also been going through problems with cocaine in recent years. Apparently, a woman who’d been touring with Prince in Germany in 2010 called Minneapolis police the next year. According to police call logs, he’d told her “that he cannot control his habit, and she was advised to report it.” However, police took no action because “info is a year old and she did not specify that Prince is in immediate danger.”
Addiction is, of course, a complicated thing, and even if Prince had medical help a little earlier, it’s impossible to say that it would’ve been effective. Still, it absolutely sucks that Prince was so close to getting help when he died and that help came just a bit too late.