CHICAGO: A law-enforcement official says that tests show Pop icon Prince 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.
Investigators have been reviewing whether Prince died of an overdose and whether a doctor was prescribing him drugs in the weeks before his death.
Prince's death from an overdose of the powerful opioid fentanyl is another example of the national opioid epidemic driven by prescription painkillers.
"This was a man in his 50s who may have been struggling with pain and took a very potent opioid analgesic and died accidentally from an overdose," said Dr. Barbarajean Magnani, pathologist-in-chief at Tufts Medical Center who read a one-page autopsy report released Thursday. "Celebrities bring it to our attention, but we see this every day. We have to re-examine the way we're treating pain."
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.