The details that have come out after Prince’s death have been both harrowing and confusing, but today law enforcement officials have confirmed to the Associated Press that an opioid overdose was a contributing factor to Prince’s cause of death. An official “who is close to the investigation” confirmed the report under the condition of anonymity, as he was not authorized to speak to the media.
The pop legend had been planning to meet with Dr. Howard Kornfeld, a specialist in opioid addiction treatment, before he passed, but the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office said initially that an autopsy was inconclusive and it wanted to wait until the toxicology report came in. There had also been reports of percocet found in the autopsy, which launched an investigation into how Prince procured the drugs and the prescribers who gave them to him. It’s unclear what role, if any, painkillers factored into Prince death at the time.
UPDATE: The New York Times clarifies that Prince died from an “accidental overdose of self-administered fentanyl, a type of synthetic opiate,” according to the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office.