The details coming from Prince’s sudden, untimely death have been increasingly harrowing. Yesterday, reports surfaced that Prince was seeking help for opioid and cocaine addictions. He had been planning to meet with Dr. Howard Kornfeld, a specialist in opioid addiction treatment. The night before Prince died, his representatives called Kornfeld, telling him that Prince was going through a “grave medical emergency” — one related to painkiller addiction.
Today, those reports have been confirmed as the legend’s autopsy has revealed the powerful painkiller Percocet was in his system at the time of his death, according to Minneapolis’ Channel 5 ABC news affiliate. Percocet contains oxycodone and acetaminophen; both were present in his system, but it is unclear exactly how much of each drug was detected and whether a doctor prescribed them or if Prince obtained them another way.
According to TMZ, due to the uncertainty of how the drugs got into Prince’s system, Minnesota law enforcement and the Minnesota Attorney General are investigating three possible crimes: his doctors’ potential overprescription of the medicine; aliases the singer and his doctors may have used to do so; and illegal prescription filling by the pharmacies who processed them. TMZ also reports that Prince had prescriptions filled at least four times in the seven days prior to his death, and at least one of the pharmacies was a little over six miles from his home — much further than eight other area drug stores.
The DEA is involved in the investigation in a standby capacity, as it is solely a state case at present.