When Prince passed away in 2016, counterfeit and mislabeled pills were found in his home and attributed to his death. The pills in questioned were supposed to be a mix of acetaminophen and hydrocodone, also known as Vicodin, but were instead a mixture of lidocaine and fentanyl. Now, a toxicology report from Prince’s autopsy has surfaced, and it reveals that he had what is being called an “exceedingly high” amount of fentanyl in his system when he passed.
The Associated Press obtained the report, and it says that the levels of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that’s 50 times more powerful than heroin, were significant. People have died with anywhere from three to 58 micrograms of fentanyl per liter of blood in their bodies: Prince’s concentration was at 67.8 micrograms per liter. The report also says that concentrations of 69 micrograms per kilogram in the liver “seem to represent overdose or fatal toxicity cases”: Prince had 450 micrograms per kilogram.
Dr. Lewis Nelson, chairman of emergency medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, told the AP that Prince’s fentanyl concentrations are “a pretty clear smoking gun,” and said, “The amount in his blood is exceedingly high, even for somebody who is a chronic pain patient on fentanyl patches.”
When the pills were initially discovered, officials suspected that Prince’s overdose was accidental, since fentanyl wasn’t found in the singer’s system in tests before his death, suggesting that we wasn’t a longtime user.