A Year Later, Big Questions Remain on Prince's Death

'New York Times' takes a look as anniversary nears
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2017 11:28 AM CDT
As Anniversary of Prince's Death Looms, Still No Answers
In this April 22, 2016, file photo, a fan takes a selfie by the Prince star and memorial at First Avenue in Minneapolis where he often performed.   (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

April 21 will mark one year since Prince's death at age 57, and the New York Times takes a look at the mysteries that still linger. The biggest one: Where did Prince get the fentanyl that killed him? Fentanyl, an opioid that is cheaper to produce than heroin but can be up to 50 times as strong, is often made to look like prescription pain pills, meaning many people think they're taking something significantly milder than they actually are. After not having been seen on Minnesota's black market for a while, it became "pervasive" last year, the Times notes. Police have given no indication they've found someone who issued an illegal prescription to Prince, which likely means he got the drug on the black market—and that will make it more difficult for anyone to be held accountable for his death.

The Times also looks at the doctors who were, at one point, focal points of the police investigation but who seem to no longer be. One, who treated Prince before his death and had prescribed him an undisclosed medication, now works at a different clinic and police have given no indication the prescription was for an opiate. The other, an opioid addiction specialist who sent his son to Prince with Suboxone on the day he died, still runs his treatment center in California. One small silver lining that has come out of Prince's death: It "raised the profile of the opioid crisis even further," says a Minnesota health official, and the Times runs through regulatory changes that have since been enacted on the state, national, and international level. Click for the full piece, which also looks at the status of Prince's estate. (More Prince stories.)

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