Prince's death adds to opioid overdose epidemic's grim toll

Music superstar Prince's death from an opioid overdose is a stunning example of a national epidemic of overdose deaths driven by prescription opioid painkillers.

Prescription opioid overdoses reached nearly 19,000 in 2014, the highest number on record. Total opioid overdoses surpassed 29,000 that year when combined with heroin, which some abusers switch to after becoming hooked on painkillers.

A law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Thursday that tests show the music superstar died of an opioid overdose. The 57-year-old singer was found dead April 21 at his Minneapolis-area estate.

The official, who is close to the investigation, spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. Authorities haven't yet released autopsy results.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."