Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

Prince: Another Life Lost to Presciption Opiates

Prince mural in Tucson

Prince tribute mural in downtown Tucson by local artist Joe Pagac.

Prince– the enigmatic rocker and creative genius– collapsed at his home a few weeks ago and passed from this world into the next.

Initially, the cause of death was unclear. Now, as the stories come out, we learn that Prince was likely abusing prescription painkillers. Decades of jumping and dancing on stage in platform shoes had left the 57-year-old musician in chronic pain.

Another life lost to prescription opiate overdose.

This article in the New York Times talks about Prince’s clean lifestyle– no meat, alcohol, marijuana or other drugs– but legal prescription drugs were OK. People think that prescription drugs are safe because they’re legal. That’s not necessarily so. Painkillers build up in your body. There is an additive effect when you take too many pills, and this is how innocent people in pain die from legal drugs. Prince’s denial and secret struggle with addiction and his tragic death should be a wake up call regarding the dangers of prescription painkiller abuse. Ironically, if he had switched to medical marijuana for pain, he would still be alive.

In Arizona, more people die from prescription opiate overdose than from heroin overdose. Prince’s friends reached out for addiction treatment help too late. If you know someone who may be abusing prescription drugs, heroin, alcohol or other dangerous drugs, there are multiple hotlines and online resources.

Wake up, Arizona. People are dying.

UPDATE: The Coroner’s report says that Prince died of an overdose of Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opiate, which is 80 times more potent than morphine and hundreds of times more potent than heroin, according to the CDC.

Cross-posted from PowersForThePeople.net.


This entry was posted on May 5, 2016 by in #PowersForThePeople, Drugs and tagged , , .

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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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