According to newly released search warrants and affidavits, Prince apparently tried to hide his drug addictions by placing narcotic painkillers in over-the-counter vitamin bottles. While it is still unclear where Prince got the opioid fentanyl that he accidentally overdosed on, the affidavits make it clearer that Prince was struggling with drugs frequently in the final years of his life. The famous musician was found dead in his home’s elevator on April 21, 2016.
According to these documents, Prince, suffering from hip pain, mixed prescription pills in bottles of over-the-counter medicine, such as Bayer and Aleve, to avoid being caught. It also appears that Prince used other people’s names to obtain prescriptions. For example, one opiate prescription was found to have been made in the name of Kirk Johnson, a long-time personal friend and bodyguard of Prince. Prescription bottles in one of Prince’s suitcases were also found to bear Johnson’s name.
It was revealed that Prince ingested a fatal amount of fentanyl in the overdose that killed him. Fentanyl is often used as a black market substitute for oxycodone or related painkillers, and apparently this substance was abundant in the acetaminophen-hydrocodone mix that Prince took. It is unclear whether Prince knew this substance was present in the pills he took.
Because of the dangerous and illegal status of the substance, investigators are trying to hunt down who got the fentanyl for Prince, although they have yet to find enough evidence to charge anyone. It does appear that Johnson is a key suspect, especially after a search warrant revealed that one of Prince’s doctors, Dr. Michael Schulenberg, prescribed Prince oxycodone in Johnson’s name. Dr. Schulenberg said he did this “for Prince’s privacy.” Johnson, for his part, has refused to let on to investigators crucial information, claiming he had limited knowledge of Prince’s drug dependence.