“Prince was unlikely to have been prescribed fentanyl, a very powerful synthetic opioid originally created for palliative care…”
As a long-term intractable pain patient, I was prescribed fentanyl, because pain doctors prefer to prescribe pain medications that last longer than 4-6 hours. But the nausea was so bad, I only tried the patches a couple of times. I didn’t get any pain relief from fentanyl, only nausea and dizziness.
It seems that Prince was using painkillers as a way to combat his shyness, social awkwardness, and stage fright. And then later, for his chronic pain. While I don’t agree with treating anxiety with painkillers, I’m guessing that anti-anxiety medications probably slowed Prince down — if he ever tried them — which would seriously interfere with his ability to perform.
After 25 years of treating my pain within the medical industry, I’ve given up on doctors, too. So, I understand Prince’s phobia about doctors, as I now avoid them at all costs. I also understand Prince’s need to manage his pain on his own, not relying on whether a doctor would disagree with Prince’s own choices to treat his pain. I think many pain patients try to hoard their medications as much as possible, knowing that at any time, they could be cut off. The treatment of pain has nothing to do with the individual in this country — doctors make decisions based on their own fear of the DEA and decisions by insurance companies.
What killed Prince? I think his inability to manage his pain killed him. He tried for so long to do this on his own, but his decisions were based on the amount of relief he obtained, not medical science. As many pain patients can tell you, Prince was addicted to pain relief, not the drugs. And I think he would be horrified at how his pain is being exploited by the opioid war.
Rest in peace and pain-free, Prince Rogers Nelson. And tell Robin Williams we miss him.