Prince’s death highlights spike in prescription drug addiction

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – An autopsy performed by the Carver County Medical Examiner rules out suicide in legendary singer Prince’s death. TMZ reports Prince overdosed on the pain pill Percocet days before his death. They say an emergency landing in Moline, Illinois was to administer a “save shot” to save his life.

TMZ says Prince was taking the highly addictive painkillers for a hip problem and that he had corrective surgery for in 2010. They say those close to the rock star fear the pills could have played a part in his death.

If his death is pain killer related, while troubling, it spotlights the national problem with opioids.

We don`t know what killed Prince. No one at the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse claims to know either. But given the suggestion that it might have been opiates we approached the NCADA to find out more about the problem.

Opiod abuse is a problem often overshadowed by the scourge of heroin. But they are really two sides of the same coin.

Gee Vigna lost her daughter Nicky to a heroin overdose in 2013. While she is not speculating whether opioids caused Prince`s death, she knows from past experience if it proves to be true it could lead to conversations that have the potential to save lives.

“The attention it will draw will be much greater than the hundreds of lives that are lost every single day. But if it takes someone of national notoriety to bring more attention to this epidemic, than hopefully that will be of help to us.” said Gee Vigna.

The Associated Press reports that April 14th, the day Prince`s plane landed in Moline because of a medical emergency, was the same day he canceled a two surprise concerts. They were supposed to be held four days later at the FOX Theater. The reason cited was illness.

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