Pain Pill Intervention Came Hours Too Late for Prince

As officials continue to investigate the death of Prince Rogers Nelson at the age of 57, talk of a prescription drug addiction has been in the forefront.

(Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)

As officials continue to investigate the death of Prince Rogers Nelson at the age of 57, talk of a prescription drug addiction has been in the forefront.

Initial suspicions pointed to the flu as a potential cause of death of the pop and rock music legend. Prince had been fighting the illness for a few weeks leading up to April 21, when he was found dead at his Paisley Park compound in Chanhassen, Minnesota.

But it appears that Prince had a secret, which shouldn’t be surprising since he was very private and busy — making music, not headlines.

But as private as Prince was, he seemed equally, if not more, devoted to a life of good health and well-being.

Prince was known for steering clear of alcohol and marijuana, and even insisted that those on tour with him do the same. He was also a vegan — and was even named PETA’s Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity in 2006. Prince donated his song “Animal Kingdom” to the organization as a musical invitation for the 20th anniversary party.

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So from the outside, it simply doesn’t make sense that the star may have been secretly battling a recreational prescription pain pill addiction. But Prince started taking painkillers for hip problems which ultimately lead to surgery around 2005.

According to reports, a concerned friend reached out to Howard Kornfeld, MD, a pain medication and addiction specialist in Mill Valley, California. During a news conference on May 4, the lawyer for the Kornfeld family, William J. Mauzy, said that the doctor sent his son to Prince’s residence to go over a treatment plan. Kornfeld’s son, Andrew, works for him as a consultant but is not a doctor himself.

“The hope was to get him stabilized in Minnesota and convince him to come to Recovery Without Walls in Mill Valley,” Mauzy said. “That was the plan.”

Fast forward through the overnight flight to Minnesota and Andrew was apparently one of the people who found the musician dead in his elevator. One can’t help but to wonder what would have happened if that flight was earlier.

An autopsy on Prince’s body was done the day after he passed away, but results could take up to four weeks.

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