GLEN OAKS, NY – According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, sources familiar with the investigation into Prince’s death have indicated that the music icon passed away from an opioid overdose.
What is now known is that the day before his death, members of Prince’s circle reached out to an opioid addiction specialist in search of immediate help for the legendary singer, who was found unresponsive in an elevator in his Paisly Park home on April 21st.
So, what would cause an addiction to this powerful class of medication? And, how could an overdose lead to death?
Bruce Goldman, director of Substance Abuse Services, LCSW, CASAC, at Zucker Hillside Hospital, believes that prescription medications in the opioid category pose a particularly dangerous risk to Americans today.
“One of the major problems with prescription drugs is the public’s perception that if a doctor is prescribing them for legitimate medical reasons, they must be safe. There’s a big differentiation in people’s minds between medical drugs and street drugs,” said Dr. Goldman.
It’s this mistake in perception that makes addiction to such medications as Percocet and Oxycotin especially dangerous, he said.
“Problems with these particular drugs are very serious and rarely get better by themselves,” said Mr. Goldman. “Many times, family and friends of the person dealing with addiction are aware of the situation, but wait too long to intercede. Denial is a big part of the problem, along with making excuses for their loved one.”
The good news, he concluded, is that there is hope for a full recovery if steps are taken to seek treatment.
“It takes someone to say, ‘I have a problem and I need help,’” said Mr. Goldman. “Once that happens, there are a variety of safe, effective treatments that will help people recover. We are encouraging people to ask for help…..you are not alone.”