This April, the world was shocked by the news that Prince Rogers Nelson, the recording artist known as Prince, passed away at the age of 57 in an elevator at Paisley Park, his home and recording studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota.
There were suspicions that drugs played a role in his death, and while this is none of anyone’s business, this incident highlights a national epidemic where powerful pharmaceutical drugs are being mixed with other opiates like heroin, to produce a lethal cocktail that is resulting in thousands of accidental overdoses and deaths.
In the case of Prince, the toxicology report reads, “How injury occurred: The decedent self-administered fentanyl.”
Prince Rogers Nelson investigation results attached pic.twitter.com/CMt6lQSGxJ
— Midwest Medical Exam (@MidwestMedExam) June 2, 2016
Fentanyl is approximately 80 to 100 times more potent than morphine and roughly 40 to 50 times more potent than pharmaceutical grade (100% pure) heroin.
Since Fentanyl is so strong, it can be mixed with heroin and other adulterants to trick people into thinking that they are getting more heroin than they actually are. However, the risk of death and overdose greatly increase because Fentanyl is very disruptive to the respiratory system.
“The more narcotic you take, the less your body has an urge to breathe, and it makes sense that a lot of people are overdosing on it because they aren’t sure how much to take,” Dr. J.P. Abenstein, president of the American Society of Anesthesiologists said in a statement.
Federal prosecutors and the Drug Enforcement Administration have made a statement saying that they are investigating from who Prince purchased his drugs. This is actually a new developing trend.
Police have been making a move to charge heroin dealers with murder in response to the increase of opiate overdoses, but are they really to blame for the explosion of Fentanyl onto the drug scene? What level of responsibility do they have in comparison to the companies that actually manufacture Fentanyl, which are subsidiaries of Johnson & Johnson. Most heroin dealers on the street are just broke addicts themselves who are just trying to make ends meet and support their own habit.
If the authorities want to find the who is responsible for the lethal drug cocktail that killed Prince, they should look no further Johnson & Johnson. While it is true that Prince is a grown man who is responsible for his own actions, by the logic of the federal government, they should be investigating Johnson and Johnson as a potential suspect who made over $70 billion last year.
But then again, Johnson & Johnson can knowingly give people cancer and just pay a fine to be in the clear. Or, they can alter the results of drug studies to make their products look safer than they actually are, leading to hundreds of innocent deaths — and nothing happens.
While there is very little chance of Johnson & Johnson ever being held criminally liable for their admitted crimes, police continue to fill jails with people for possessing marijuana — a drug which has never killed a single person.