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All of Prince’s friends and representatives were trying to convince him to agree to addiction treatment. It appears they couldn’t convince him to go for inpatient treatment, so they were trying to offer him an outpatient program. I’m sure Prince was worried about security, but I’m also sure that security wasn’t the only thing he was worried about.

And so an intervention was set up. Prince knew about it, but I’m not sure he agreed to it. Yet Prince also knew that there would be painful consequences to his overdose just a short time before the date of his death.

Can you feel his desperation?

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Even though Prince knew he had a drug problem, I’m not sure he was ready to quit. He had just performed in Atlanta to rave reviews. I’m sure it was easy to convince himself that now was not the right time to go into treatment.

The addiction clinic chosen for Prince says it treats chronic pain and addiction, as if they were the same thing. But, being treated for addiction is not the same as being treated for chronic pain, regardless of what the government and medical industry say. They were going to offer him buprenorphine, but I doubt Prince believed it would help his pain.

Prince knew that the treatment of his chronic pain would soon be over. Perhaps he even knew that his pain could not be treated, not really. Maybe after all these years, Prince was finally coming to the understanding that he would be suffering and in pain for the rest of his life, drugs or no drugs.

Chronic pain is a very difficult reality to come to terms with — there is a grieving process that Prince may not have had the chance to experience, especially as coddled as he was.

Prince knew that the intervention was going to start soon — the doctor was on his way, flying in from another state. Pretty soon, his pain would not be treated, only his addiction.

I know how he felt. When my pain doctor abandoned me, I knew I had lost my access to pain medications. There was fear, anger, confusion, and an acute sense of desperation. A life-and-death type of desperation. And of course there was pain and more pain. Did I want to survive if it meant living with no relief from this pain? At this point, what were my options?

What other options did Prince have to treat his constant pain? Did he believe that he’d run out of options?

Can you smell his desperation?

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It could have gone one of two ways:

Prince decides to take one more handful of pills for his pain, knowing he wouldn’t have access while being treated for addiction. His overdose is an accident, perhaps precipitated by the Narcan he had received just days ago. (He keeps increasing his drug dosages because they’re amazingly ineffective.)

Prince decides he doesn’t want treatment for his drug addiction. What he really wants is adequate treatment for his pain, but he doesn’t see any other options. He finally understands that the pain is never going to go away. A ton of grief descends upon his head and body. He decides to take his own life before the intervention begins.

There’s also the possibility that Prince was given some bad pills, but since he was Prince and all, I kinda doubt anyone would do that. Maybe it’s more likely that Prince didn’t understand the combination of drugs he was taking (or the side effects of Narcan), especially for a man of his age.

All this is conjecture, of course. And even an autopsy cannot determine if Prince’s death was accidental or not. But there are some things that transcend being strangers, and one of those things is suffering from chronic pain. And I’m sad to say that Prince and I had a few too many things in common.

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15 thoughts on “Did Prince take his own life?

  1. I hate that they want to just throw this into “just another example of the opioid addictions in the US”. Maybe he was an addict, maybe he had secrets his fans didn’t know, we don’t know. When Philip Seymour Hoffman died I was floored, I had no idea he was addicted to heroin. But having been a fan for so long, it’s hard to think that’s what happened. Prince was known for living a clean life.
    I keep hoping they’ll eventually find he had a heart attack or something. The loss is horrible already. I hope they don’t make it worse by throwing pain patients under the bus too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This angle hadn’t occurred to me, but as you point out, if he was going into “treatment” they would have taken away his pain relief. Then he wouldn’t be able to perform anymore, he’d be disabled by his pain to the point he could no longer do what he loved, practically no longer be who he was (that’s how I feel).

    What would have been the point of his life if he could no longer make music and perform?

    It sounds like he had serious physical pain and was able to handle opioids well for years, since he used them to continue his energetic performances. But let’s not forget he was also aging and as I’ve learned, it’s amazing how a body can fall apart after 50.

    I also wonder what I’ll do when my pain worsens as I age. The rules make no allowances for increasing pain, as though our bodies permanently stay in youthful condition.

    I think you’re right – he probably knew he had run out of options. But I don’t think it was entirely deliberate either. He had been going non-stop for a few days and may have exhausted his body to the point that his normal opioid dose was too much.

    It can’t be coincidence that he died right before going into treatment. If I had been in his shoes (ouch!) I sure would have been looking for a way out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Most people who commit suicide don’t want to die, they just want the pain to stop. I don’t think Prince wanted to die — far from it. But desperation is a very, very powerful emotion, especially for someone as sensitive and isolated as Prince.

      And really, he could have kept performing, just with limitations. If you think about it, these limitations might have created a new and different type of art… Prince was a musical genius, after all.

      I don’t know if he was using medical cannabis, but it doesn’t sound like it. I’d like to believe that if he had access to the right combination of medications, he would still be here, making us awestruck from his talent.

      I made this comment here:


      We will never know what really happened, although as a 30-year intractable pain survivor, I think I have a pretty good idea. To be honest, I don’t care about the details — I’m just glad Prince is now out of pain. And for that, I envy him.

      Will always love ya, Prince. Tell Robin Williams we all said hello.

      Liked by 2 people

      • We may never know everything. His story is….after all…HIS. But I agree with your statement. Suicide doesn’t mean they want to die, they just want their pain to stop. I’ve lost loved ones to suicide. It’s not selfish, it just driven by pain.
        I think people are forgetting he also had epilepsy. Maybe there are factors we don’t know?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I see more clearly what Prince may have been experiencing. Pain can often lead to self-medicating.
    If not taken properly the medications do not cover the pain. This can lead to taking more and more of the medication. It becomes a vicious cycle. Mixed with fame and fortune,definitely not a good combination.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m bothered by all the talk about what Prince may have been thinking. What may have happened.
    We don’t know. We know what the media wants to tell us.
    We don’t have any idea what he wanted, he may have desperately wanted to stop taking the drugs. We don’t know.
    I love Prince. I always have. I was a bit obsessed with him for a while.
    I hate that his name is being brought into all this drug talk.
    I wish we knew the exact truth so we wouldn’t have to guess.
    I wish he hadn’t died.

    But he did. and the truth of the matter is, the drugs killed him.
    He may have been trying desperately to control his pain, but the pain control killed him.
    Something is wrong with that.

    I don’t think the fact the facility said they treat pain and addiction, does not mean they think it is the same thing. they can treat both. and there are people who have chronic pain who are addicted. this doesn’t help with the pain.

    I don’t want the government having anything to do with how pain is treated, but I also don’t want people to suffer more because of the medications they are taking. Addiction is painful.

    I think there are a lot of doctors out there who feel helpless in treating someone for pain and they will do anything they can to try to help. I think some of these doctors do not have any business prescribing long term pain medications.

    I know this comment won’t go over well with you. I’m sorry.
    know I think this is a very complicated subject and not something I am the slightest bit authorized to take on.
    I simply think that it is complicated.

    There is a lot of problems with pain management.
    There are a lot of problems with the prescription of pain medication.
    these problems are way too big for me.

    I hate that Prince will be remembered for this.
    He was an incredible artist who was an advocate against drug use.
    he was an incredible artist.
    That is how I want to remember him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No need to be sorry for voicing your own opinion. All are welcome here.

      While I advocate for easy access to any drugs that might help with pain, I also know that some people abuse and can become addicted to these same drugs. But drug addiction and chronic pain are two different things, even if they overlap in a small subset of patients. And treating these two conditions is also different. A pain doctor is treating your pain; an addiction doctor is treating your potential addiction.

      Would you go to a cancer doctor with a broken bone? Forcing pain patients to see addiction doctors is already presupposing that treating pain with drugs almost always ends in addiction. And that’s very (very) far from the truth. The truth is that thousands suffer from addiction, while tens of millions suffer from chronic pain — without the comorbid condition of addiction. I don’t want a cancer doctor treating my broken bone, and I don’t want an addiction doctor treating my chronic pain.

      No, I don’t know what Prince was thinking, no one does. But I know what desperation feels like, only too well. And before a person ends up like Prince, desperation is usually a daily companion. However, I think his desperation was for pain relief, not drugs. There’s a difference between the two, which is one of the reasons why treating addiction and chronic pain is not the same.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree they aren’t the same.
        I don’t want one specialist treating me for another specialty.
        However, saying that a treatment center cannot help with both is unfair. They can have both specialist on staff.
        I understand desperation.
        More than I care to admit.

        I think it’s all just way more complicated than can be expressed here.

        Liked by 1 person

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