After years of damage caused by performing incredible dance moves and stunts on stage while wearing platform shoes, Prince's hip was giving him unbearable pain. Surgery was an option, but at first the singer rejected it since his religion forbade it. He chose instead another option—dulling the pain with pain pills. A habit was formed, one that will eventually lead to his death. Prince died from an overdose of fentanyl.
Prince abused opioid pain pills, suffered withdrawal symptoms and received at least one opioid prescription under his bodyguard’s name, according to search warrants and affidavits unsealed Monday.
Tragic and lonely end. Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at Paisley Park on April 21. Nearly a year after his accidental overdose death at his suburban Minneapolis studio and estate, investigators still don’t know how he got the fentanyl that killed him. The newly unsealed documents give the clearest picture yet of Prince’s struggle with opioid painkillers.
A cover up for the legendary singer? The people at Paisley Park told investigators that Prince was recently “going through withdrawals, which are believed to be the result of the abuse of prescription medication.”
When a database at the estate which had been set up to monitor who’s getting prescriptions for controlled substances was discovered by authorities, they found nothing for Prince. But there was a prescription for the opioid painkiller oxycodone written for Kirk Johnson, Prince’s bodyguard.
Clearly not everything fit. The prescription was dated seven days before the musician's death, on the exact the same day Prince was revived with an anti-overdose drug after falling mysteriously I'll on a private plane. Dr. Michael Schulenberg, who wrote the prescription, told authorities he put the prescription in Johnson’s name to protect Prince’s privacy, according to a detective’s affidavit. Schulenberg’s attorney, Amy Conners, said in a statement that Schulenberg never prescribed opioids to Prince directly nor to another person with the intent of giving them to the singer.
But they cannot be charged for his death since an autopsy showed that Prince died from an entirely different drug—fentanyl.
It is against State and Federal law to write prescriptions under another person's name. Investigators say that even though a year has passed someone might still be charged.