Prince Had ‘Exceedingly High’ Amount of Fentanyl in His Body at Time of Death: Report

Illustration for article titled Prince Had ‘Exceedingly High’ Amount of Fentanyl in His Body at Time of Death: Report
Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

As the opioid epidemic continues to wreak havoc on the nation, we are sad to say that it looks like singer Prince is one of the fallen.

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According to a toxicology report obtained from his autopsy Monday, the concentration of fentanyl in his blood was what experts deemed “exceedingly high.”

“The amount in his blood is exceedingly high, even for somebody who is a chronic pain patient on fentanyl patches,” Dr. Lewis Nelson, chairman of emergency medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, told the Associated Press.

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AP reports that the late singer had 67.8 micrograms per liter of the drug in his bloodstream, and fatalities have occurred in people with levels from 3 to 58 micrograms per liter.

The report also indicates that the level of fentanyl in Prince’s liver was 450 micrograms per kilogram and notes that liver concentrations greater than 69 micrograms per kilogram “seem to represent overdose or fatal toxicity cases.”

Because the drug was also found in his stomach, experts believe the singer took the drug orally, while fentanyl in the blood and liver suggests that it had some time to circulate before he died.

Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. Fentanyl, which has flooded the streets of the U.S., is a synthetic opioid 50-100 times more powerful than heroin.

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As of today, no one has been charged in the singer-songwriter’s death.

Ms. Bronner Helm is the Senior Editorial Director at Colorlines. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.

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DISCUSSION

Holy SHIT. How the fuck was the dude ambulatory, even a little bit?