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Prince: An Untimely Death

In recent weeks, we all were shocked and horrified about the death of pop star Prince. At the time, the cause of death was not apparent.  The coroner would not speculate but instead said that the results were inconclusive pending toxicology results.

Just last week, the toxicology results were in--and the cause of Prince's death was said to be an accidental overdose of the pain killing drug fentanyl.  This might not mean much to the average citizen, but I see a huge red flag here.  First of all, fentanyl is one of the most potent opioids out there. To give you some perspective, fentanyl is one-hundred times more potent than morphine (intravenous use)!

This tells me a couple of things:

1)  Fentanyl would not be a first choice drug for a person with chronic pain.  It's pretty safe to assume that Prince was using pain medication for a while, and was prescribed fentanyl when other medications did not provide adequate pain relief.

2) This scenario can play out--and has played itself out--many times over.  It's said that insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.  What happened to Prince can happen to anyone.  No one is immune from it.

Once again, I would like to emphasize my purpose for writing this blog...there are many pain management alternatives out there.  It might take a little trial and error to find out what is best for a specific individual, but it's all worth it in the end.  Opioids and other pain medications have their place in medicine, but the idea of using these drugs on a long-term basis is worth re-thinking.

Sources: FoxNews; Medscape; Wikimedia


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