Prince’s death shines a light on opioid dangers


Prince’s death from an overdose of the opioid fentanyl is shining a light on the dangers of these types of drugs.

Just one month before his death on April 21, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency issued a nationwide alert on fentanyl as a threat to health and public safety.

The drug is prescribed by doctors for cancer treatment, but is also being produced illicitly. According to DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart, “fentanyl and fentanyl analogues produced in illicit clandestine labs are up to 100 times more powerful than morphine and 30-50 times more powerful than heroin.”

Percocet and Vicodin, both commonly prescribed painkillers, are also highly addictive.

Dr. Scott Sigman, an orthopedic surgeon, told California Life he has seen great success in alternative forms of pain management with his patients. He said application of the long-acting numbing medication “Exparel” during surgery cuts down on the need for post-op narcotics.

To learn more, go to and be sure to check out our story below, airing statewide this week.