New details gleaned from Prince‘s toxicology report indicate that the late musician had what experts are referring to as “exceedingly high” levels of fentanyl in his system when he died.
The icon passed at age 57 after he was found unresponsive at his Paisley Park estate April 21 2016. A short time after his death, it was confirmed that an opioid overdose had killed him. Fentanyl is 50 times more powerful than heroin, and the report, obtained by AP, shows the high levels present in his system, which were described by Dr. Lewis Nelson, chairman of emergency medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, as “a pretty clear smoking gun. The amount in his blood is exceedingly high, even for somebody who is a chronic pain patient on fentanyl patches,” he said.
Prince had a fentanyl concentration in his blood of 67.8 micrograms per liter; 3 to 58 micrograms per liter has been found to be fatal in other cases. As well, he had 450 micrograms per kilogram of the drug in his liver, and concenrations of more than 69 micrograms per kilogram in that organ “seem to represent overdose or fatal toxicity cases”. There was also a “potentially” lethal amount of fentanyl in his stomach.
The lead prosecutor investigating Prince’s death says he’s reviewing reports and would be making a decision on whether or not to charge anyone in relation to his death “in the near future.”