Reports: Prince overdosed on pills that were mislabeled


The pills that caused Prince to fatally overdose on Fentanyl last spring were mislabeled, reported the Star Tribune on Sunday.

Investigators told the newspaper "they are leaning toward the theory that he took the pills not knowing they contained the drug." The amount of Fentanyl found in his 112-pound body "was so great no one could have survived it." The opioid is 50 times more powerful than heroin.

The Associated Press says that the pills were falsely labeled as “Watson 385” which is supposed to be a mix of acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Around 20 different bottles and pill containers found at Paisley Park have been analyzed, says AP. The investigation is still ongoing.

What else we know

According to the autopsy report, Prince accidentally overdosed from "Fentanyl toxicity" and he administered the drug to himself.

Officials said the day after Prince died that first responders did not use the overdose-reversal drug Narcan on the scene, but rumors about the role prescription painkillers may have played in his death have circulated since.

At that same time, the efforts of a noted California doctor named Howard Kornfeld came to light – an opioid addiction specialist, Kornfeld had apparently set up a “life-saving mission” to help Prince.

Law enforcement authorities say a Twin Cities doctor prescribed medications for Prince the day before he died and a few weeks prior. It is still not known what drugs Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg prescribed the musician.

A growing problem

A little less than a year before Prince's death, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration issued a nationwide alert on the dangers of Fentanyl.

“Drug incidents and overdoses related to fentanyl are occurring at an alarming rate throughout the United States and represent a significant threat to public health and safety,” said DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart in a statement. "Fentanyl is extremely dangerous to law enforcement and anyone else who may come into contact with it. DEA will continue to address this threat by directly attacking the drug trafficking networks producing and importing these deadly drugs. We have lost too many Americans to drug overdoses . . ."

Authorities in the Fargo-Moorehead area asked for the community's help earlier this year to fight drug overdoses, particularly with heroin and Fentanyl.

For more information on Fentanyl, read this article by CBS News. 

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