independent and unofficial
Prince fan community site
Fri 28th Feb 2020 3:48pm
Welcome! Sign up or enter username and password to remember me
Forum jump
Forums > Prince: Music and More > Article worth reading. Brings up good points
« Previous topic  Next topic »
Page 1 of 5 12345>
  New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
Author

Tweet     Share

Message
Thread started 08/18/16 7:49am

lwr001

Article worth reading. Brings up good points

https://www.minnpost.com/...re-his-own
[Edited 8/18/16 8:07am]


Last week, when the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office released its official report, concluding that Prince had died of self-administered fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid painkiller, I recalled a conversation I’d had back in 2014 with Jennifer Matesa, blogger, recipient of a SAMHSA Voice Awards Fellowship, and author of “The Recovering Body: Physical and Spiritual Fitness for Living Clean and Sober.”


In our earlier conversation, Matesa had described her own addiction to fentanyl, and the long and painful process she endured to get the drug out of her system. Then, I paid a visit to Guinevere Gets Sober, Matesa’s popular recovery blog, where I read her personal and compassionate post about Prince, and I knew we had to talk.

I gave Matesa a call at her Pittsburgh home earlier this week, and we had a wide-ranging conversation about my favorite musician’s dangerous addiction, his untimely death and about what may have motivated him to use opiates in the first place. The interview has been edited and trimmed.

MinnPost: What inspired you to write about Prince on your blog?

Jennifer Matesa: As a creative person and a former addict, I have an affinity with Prince. Creative types tend to drive themselves past certain limits. Prince was a physically small man. He was smaller than I am. He spent the majority of his life jumping and dancing around on stage wearing high heels with a heavy guitar strapped on his chest. You can’t expect to do that for 30 years without damaging your body or injuring your psyche.

When Prince died in April, at first some people said he was taking Percocet [acetaminophen and oxycodone]. But when I read that they had to give him a save shot when his plane made an emergency landing in Moline, I said, “There was no way he was just taking Percocet. ... He was probably taking a single-entity opioid, and it was probably pretty strong.” I know my drugs.

MP: So you’re theorizing that Prince’s addiction started a long time before he died?

JM: I’ve read that he was on strong opioids for 25 or 30 years. If that’s so, that means that he probably produced most of the body of his work while on opioids. There are files of photos of him where his pupils are pinned (abnormally constricted). I’ve looked it up online and this goes way, way back. Pinned pupils are the one sign of opioid abuse that a user can’t hide. Photos of Prince, even in low light, show that his pupils are pinned.

MP: Clearly, I’m a deluded Minnesotan. I always thought that Prince was sober because he was famous for living such a clean lifestyle. I was sad for me to hear that he was addicted to opioids.

Jennifer Matesa
Jennifer Matesa
JM: I think it is interesting that you say that. What is the cultural prejudice that drives your unwillingness to think that your beloved artist could be a stone junkie? I don’t use words like “junkie” lightly. I used to call myself a junkie. A person can be addicted and still be an artist. They can be addicted and still be an amazing person.

MP: Are people ever prescribed fentanyl for hip pain? Could Prince have been getting the drug legally from his physician?

JM: Where he got the drug doesn’t matter. The fact is that Prince’s tox screen at the end of his life said that he had fentanyl in his bloodstream. He overdosed on fentanyl. That’s it. I almost overdosed on fentanyl a few times. It [is scary].

MP: How did you end up taking fentanyl?

JM: I didn’t start out with fentanyl. I have migraines and fibromyalgia. I started out with codeine during my pregnancy. Then, after I stopped breastfeeding, I switched to Vicodin [acetaminophen and hydrocodone]. When I went to a pain clinic in my hometown of Pittsburgh, I was given pure hydrocodone. Then I moved to OxyContin [oxycodone] and then eventually to fentanyl.

By 2005, I was on straight fentanyl patches. I was also given fentanyl lollypops for free. They would give you coupons to take to the pharmacy. I became addicted through my prescribers. It was a particular moment in medical history when physicians were prescribing opioids for all kinds of conditions.

MP: But fentanyl is so potent. I thought it was usually reserved for people who are actively dying.

JM: That’s not always the case in the United States. Once, when I was traveling overseas, I ran out of fentanyl patches. I went to a pharmacist, who said, “We only give those to people with cancer.” But in this country we give powerful painkillers like that to a lot of people who do not have a fatal disease.

Fentanyl is the most potent painkiller. You can’t start on it. It could kill you if you did. You’d have to be taking other opioids for a while first. It is pharmacologically different from other opioids. It is fat-soluble. That means it crosses the blood-brain barrier quickly.

That’s part of the reason that fentanyl deaths are increasing in this country. They are not nearly at the level of other opioid-based drugs like heroin, but they are happening. The Federal Drug Abuse Warning Network says that it is very hard for EMS personnel to get to fentanyl victims quickly enough because the drug works so fast.

MP: You just said you almost overdosed on fentanyl a few times. How did that happen?

JM: I almost overdosed on fentanyl because I took too much. I didn’t go to a hospital. I was lucky I survived. I abused my drugs. I was prescribed adhesive patches that were intended to be placed directly on the skin. But I got to a point where I’d cut my patches into small pieces and stick them to the inside of my cheek so the fentanyl would enter my system faster. I’d do this when I had run out of the drug for a few days before I could fill a new prescription. I’d be in withdrawal, and I figured out that it was a faster way to get the drug into my system.

When the drug entered my bloodstream that way, it would spike the levels in my blood. I clearly remember lying in bed at night and feeling that my breathing was slowing. I’d wonder to myself, “Is my body going to remember to breathe?” Sometimes I’d keep myself awake because I didn’t have a way to reverse the effects of the drug.

MP: This sounds frightening. What did it feel like?

JM: The feeling of respiratory depression is really scary. It is beyond your control. It is almost as if you are lying down and someone is stacking bricks on your chest. You can’t breathe. I am very fortunate that I didn’t die.

If you write in your column that I told you I cut the patch into pieces, make sure to say it can kill you. It is lethal.

MP: I know that this question may be going too far, but I’m still going to ask it: When you experienced that feeling of respiratory depression, were you ever at the point where you just thought, “Maybe I should surrender to this?” If you’d rather not answer, I’d respect that.

JM: Actually, it’s a really great question, because so many people are overdosing these days and a lot of the discussion about addiction is being driven around whether people who fatally overdose actually do it on purpose. I personally think that a lot or even most of these overdoses are accidents. People don’t actually want to die. They either have taken heroin that is spiked with a drug that is stronger than they thought it was, or they take an opioid with alcohol or a benzodiazepine and that makes it fatal.

Those few times when I experienced respiratory depression, I didn’t want to die. I had a young child and I wanted to stay alive for him. One of the reasons I got sober was because I wanted to be present for my son and for other loved ones in my life. Then, as I started to get better, I realized that I had things I wanted to do in life that might actually help other people and I needed to stay alive and sober in order to do that.

MP: You still suffer from migraines and fibromyalgia. How do you do to treat your pain now?

JM: I use exercise and meditation. I use appropriate diet. I use nonaddictive medication to get rid of the headaches. These are all things that I’ve written about in my book.

What I’ve tried to do to treat my pain is to take better care of my body. I have to understand my limits. I cannot dig in the garden for eight hours. I have to pay attention to my pain and take care of it and not just numb it.

MP: Do you think Prince was numbing his pain?

JM: How do I know what Prince was really doing? There are ways in which creative people get afraid that the creativity will someday leave them. That’s what drives the anxiety and sometimes the use. I know it worked that way for me.

MP: That sounds like a much bigger problem than straight-up addiction.

JM: In this country you are not supposed to suffer emotional pain. That is not the American way. We are supposed to have these easygoing, carefree lives. But every life comes with unhappiness and struggle. The way we get through that is community.

In the case of Prince, we’re talking about a person who had this really tough childhood, yet he had this extraordinary talent. Then he proves himself and then he becomes super-famous and wealthy. That is a recipe for isolation. What kind of community does a person have when he lives in a compound? What kind of web of love and trust and friendship does a person have when he is that famous and recognizable? In so many ways Prince was out there on his own.
[Edited 8/18/16 8:07am]
[Edited 8/18/16 8:10am]
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #1 posted 08/18/16 7:59am

NouveauDance

avatar

Thread title delivered: It is worth reading, and it did bring up some good points. Thanks.

.

I thought the part about people not starting on fentanyl was interesting. And the person being interviewed never tried to second guess Prince's motives. The last paragraph was particularly poignant and something that has been touched on many times over the years by fans.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #2 posted 08/18/16 8:09am

lwr001

NouveauDance said:

Thread title delivered: It is worth reading, and it did bring up some good points. Thanks.

.

I thought the part about people not starting on fentanyl was interesting. And the person being interviewed never tried to second guess Prince's motives. The last paragraph was particularly poignant and something that has been touched on many times over the years by fans.

You are correct , that caught my attention as well also , then looking at historical photos and makign the statement about the pupils being pinned and saying there was evidence from photos years ago of pinned pupils

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #3 posted 08/18/16 8:14am

leadline

avatar

Good article, but there is one part of this that I have never really understood, perhaps someone more knowledgable on the process could chime in on this.

How could it possibly be determined that a patch on someone was 'self administered'? I would think that would be impossible without video proof. Surely assumptions don't come into play on the coronors report. Forget about what it means if it was not self administered, but in leaving no stone unturned, I would think they would have to be 100% positive on everything and not throw assumptions into the mix.

peace

[Edited 8/18/16 8:19am]

"You always get the dream that you deserve, from what you value the most" -Prince 2013
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #4 posted 08/18/16 8:15am

leadline

avatar

lwr001 said:

NouveauDance said:

Thread title delivered: It is worth reading, and it did bring up some good points. Thanks.

.

I thought the part about people not starting on fentanyl was interesting. And the person being interviewed never tried to second guess Prince's motives. The last paragraph was particularly poignant and something that has been touched on many times over the years by fans.

You are correct , that caught my attention as well also , then looking at historical photos and makign the statement about the pupils being pinned and saying there was evidence from photos years ago of pinned pupils

That is quite a stretch for them to say that, i think that is called grasping at straws.

"You always get the dream that you deserve, from what you value the most" -Prince 2013
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #5 posted 08/18/16 8:18am

lwr001

leadline said:

Good article, but there is one part of this that I have never really understood, perhaps someone more knowledgable on the process could chime in on this.

How could it possibly be determined that a patch on someone was 'self administered'? I would think that would be impossible without video proof. Surely assumptions don't come into play on the coronors report.

peace

well, either he did or a doctor,,,

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #6 posted 08/18/16 8:18am

lwr001

leadline said:

lwr001 said:

You are correct , that caught my attention as well also , then looking at historical photos and makign the statement about the pupils being pinned and saying there was evidence from photos years ago of pinned pupils

That is quite a stretch for them to say that, i think that is called grasping at straws.

wht is it grasping at straws...

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #7 posted 08/18/16 8:22am

leadline

avatar

lwr001 said:

leadline said:

That is quite a stretch for them to say that, i think that is called grasping at straws.

wht is it grasping at straws...


Making wild and often times unbelievable assumptions or using far fetched ideas and possibilities to reach the desired conclusion.

"You always get the dream that you deserve, from what you value the most" -Prince 2013
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #8 posted 08/18/16 8:24am

NinaB

avatar

How often was he photographed in low light? Other than that, excellent article.
"We just let people talk & say whatever they want 2 say. 9 times out of 10, trust me, what's out there now, I wouldn't give nary one of these folks the time of day. That's why I don't say anything back, because there's so much that's wrong" - P, Dec '15
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #9 posted 08/18/16 8:29am

Purplebflogirl

Prince was extremely intelligent..
I often think the true friendships/relationships that I would pour my trust into if I was rich and famous would be the people who loved and were there for me before I am rich and famous.
It has to be very hard to decipher who loves and cares about you AFTER you hit the big time.
Until the end of time
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #10 posted 08/18/16 8:32am

sunset3121

JM: How do I know what Prince was really doing?

Says it all really.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #11 posted 08/18/16 8:36am

PurpleDiamonds
1

leadline said:



lwr001 said:




leadline said:



That is quite a stretch for them to say that, i think that is called grasping at straws.





wht is it grasping at straws...




Making wild and often times unbelievable assumptions or using far fetched ideas and possibilities to reach the desired conclusion.


Agree with leadline.
seems to be painting the same picture...if you see it enough times you will start to believe it.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #12 posted 08/18/16 8:47am

Musze

avatar

Thank U 4 sharing this. Insightful.

I Love U, But I Don't Trust U Anymore...
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #13 posted 08/18/16 8:51am

babynoz

PurpleDiamonds1 said:

leadline said:


Making wild and often times unbelievable assumptions or using far fetched ideas and possibilities to reach the desired conclusion.

Agree with leadline. seems to be painting the same picture...if you see it enough times you will start to believe it.



I agree too. This is an old article from June that was posted here before.....


http://prince.org/msg/7/427689

Why a few people are so invested in this particular narrative is beyond me.

Prince, in you I found a kindred spirit...Rest In Paradise.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #14 posted 08/18/16 8:56am

lwr001

sunset3121 said:

JM: How do I know what Prince was really doing?

Says it all really.

exactly,, USA Today article from yesterday made mention of the fact that friends and family had no idea what he was really doing either

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #15 posted 08/18/16 9:08am

laurarichardso
n

lwr001 said:

https://www.minnpost.com/mental-health-addiction/2016/06/jennifer-matesa-writer-addiction-prince-was-out-there-his-own
[Edited 8/18/16 8:07am]


Last week, when the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office released its official report, concluding that Prince had died of self-administered fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid painkiller, I recalled a conversation I’d had back in 2014 with Jennifer Matesa, blogger, recipient of a SAMHSA Voice Awards Fellowship, and author of “The Recovering Body: Physical and Spiritual Fitness for Living Clean and Sober.”


In our earlier conversation, Matesa had described her own addiction to fentanyl, and the long and painful process she endured to get the drug out of her system. Then, I paid a visit to Guinevere Gets Sober, Matesa’s popular recovery blog, where I read her personal and compassionate post about Prince, and I knew we had to talk.

I gave Matesa a call at her Pittsburgh home earlier this week, and we had a wide-ranging conversation about my favorite musician’s dangerous addiction, his untimely death and about what may have motivated him to use opiates in the first place. The interview has been edited and trimmed.

MinnPost: What inspired you to write about Prince on your blog?

Jennifer Matesa: As a creative person and a former addict, I have an affinity with Prince. Creative types tend to drive themselves past certain limits. Prince was a physically small man. He was smaller than I am. He spent the majority of his life jumping and dancing around on stage wearing high heels with a heavy guitar strapped on his chest. You can’t expect to do that for 30 years without damaging your body or injuring your psyche.

When Prince died in April, at first some people said he was taking Percocet [acetaminophen and oxycodone]. But when I read that they had to give him a save shot when his plane made an emergency landing in Moline, I said, “There was no way he was just taking Percocet. ... He was probably taking a single-entity opioid, and it was probably pretty strong.” I know my drugs.

MP: So you’re theorizing that Prince’s addiction started a long time before he died?

JM: I’ve read that he was on strong opioids for 25 or 30 years. If that’s so, that means that he probably produced most of the body of his work while on opioids. There are files of photos of him where his pupils are pinned (abnormally constricted). I’ve looked it up online and this goes way, way back. Pinned pupils are the one sign of opioid abuse that a user can’t hide. Photos of Prince, even in low light, show that his pupils are pinned.

MP: Clearly, I’m a deluded Minnesotan. I always thought that Prince was sober because he was famous for living such a clean lifestyle. I was sad for me to hear that he was addicted to opioids.

Jennifer Matesa
Jennifer Matesa
JM: I think it is interesting that you say that. What is the cultural prejudice that drives your unwillingness to think that your beloved artist could be a stone junkie? I don’t use words like “junkie” lightly. I used to call myself a junkie. A person can be addicted and still be an artist. They can be addicted and still be an amazing person.

MP: Are people ever prescribed fentanyl for hip pain? Could Prince have been getting the drug legally from his physician?

JM: Where he got the drug doesn’t matter. The fact is that Prince’s tox screen at the end of his life said that he had fentanyl in his bloodstream. He overdosed on fentanyl. That’s it. I almost overdosed on fentanyl a few times. It [is scary].

MP: How did you end up taking fentanyl?

JM: I didn’t start out with fentanyl. I have migraines and fibromyalgia. I started out with codeine during my pregnancy. Then, after I stopped breastfeeding, I switched to Vicodin [acetaminophen and hydrocodone]. When I went to a pain clinic in my hometown of Pittsburgh, I was given pure hydrocodone. Then I moved to OxyContin [oxycodone] and then eventually to fentanyl.

By 2005, I was on straight fentanyl patches. I was also given fentanyl lollypops for free. They would give you coupons to take to the pharmacy. I became addicted through my prescribers. It was a particular moment in medical history when physicians were prescribing opioids for all kinds of conditions.

MP: But fentanyl is so potent. I thought it was usually reserved for people who are actively dying.

JM: That’s not always the case in the United States. Once, when I was traveling overseas, I ran out of fentanyl patches. I went to a pharmacist, who said, “We only give those to people with cancer.” But in this country we give powerful painkillers like that to a lot of people who do not have a fatal disease.

Fentanyl is the most potent painkiller. You can’t start on it. It could kill you if you did. You’d have to be taking other opioids for a while first. It is pharmacologically different from other opioids. It is fat-soluble. That means it crosses the blood-brain barrier quickly.

That’s part of the reason that fentanyl deaths are increasing in this country. They are not nearly at the level of other opioid-based drugs like heroin, but they are happening. The Federal Drug Abuse Warning Network says that it is very hard for EMS personnel to get to fentanyl victims quickly enough because the drug works so fast.

MP: You just said you almost overdosed on fentanyl a few times. How did that happen?

JM: I almost overdosed on fentanyl because I took too much. I didn’t go to a hospital. I was lucky I survived. I abused my drugs. I was prescribed adhesive patches that were intended to be placed directly on the skin. But I got to a point where I’d cut my patches into small pieces and stick them to the inside of my cheek so the fentanyl would enter my system faster. I’d do this when I had run out of the drug for a few days before I could fill a new prescription. I’d be in withdrawal, and I figured out that it was a faster way to get the drug into my system.

When the drug entered my bloodstream that way, it would spike the levels in my blood. I clearly remember lying in bed at night and feeling that my breathing was slowing. I’d wonder to myself, “Is my body going to remember to breathe?” Sometimes I’d keep myself awake because I didn’t have a way to reverse the effects of the drug.

MP: This sounds frightening. What did it feel like?

JM: The feeling of respiratory depression is really scary. It is beyond your control. It is almost as if you are lying down and someone is stacking bricks on your chest. You can’t breathe. I am very fortunate that I didn’t die.

If you write in your column that I told you I cut the patch into pieces, make sure to say it can kill you. It is lethal.

MP: I know that this question may be going too far, but I’m still going to ask it: When you experienced that feeling of respiratory depression, were you ever at the point where you just thought, “Maybe I should surrender to this?” If you’d rather not answer, I’d respect that.

JM: Actually, it’s a really great question, because so many people are overdosing these days and a lot of the discussion about addiction is being driven around whether people who fatally overdose actually do it on purpose. I personally think that a lot or even most of these overdoses are accidents. People don’t actually want to die. They either have taken heroin that is spiked with a drug that is stronger than they thought it was, or they take an opioid with alcohol or a benzodiazepine and that makes it fatal.

Those few times when I experienced respiratory depression, I didn’t want to die. I had a young child and I wanted to stay alive for him. One of the reasons I got sober was because I wanted to be present for my son and for other loved ones in my life. Then, as I started to get better, I realized that I had things I wanted to do in life that might actually help other people and I needed to stay alive and sober in order to do that.

MP: You still suffer from migraines and fibromyalgia. How do you do to treat your pain now?

JM: I use exercise and meditation. I use appropriate diet. I use nonaddictive medication to get rid of the headaches. These are all things that I’ve written about in my book.

What I’ve tried to do to treat my pain is to take better care of my body. I have to understand my limits. I cannot dig in the garden for eight hours. I have to pay attention to my pain and take care of it and not just numb it.

MP: Do you think Prince was numbing his pain?

JM: How do I know what Prince was really doing? There are ways in which creative people get afraid that the creativity will someday leave them. That’s what drives the anxiety and sometimes the use. I know it worked that way for me.

MP: That sounds like a much bigger problem than straight-up addiction.

JM: In this country you are not supposed to suffer emotional pain. That is not the American way. We are supposed to have these easygoing, carefree lives. But every life comes with unhappiness and struggle. The way we get through that is community.

In the case of Prince, we’re talking about a person who had this really tough childhood, yet he had this extraordinary talent. Then he proves himself and then he becomes super-famous and wealthy. That is a recipe for isolation. What kind of community does a person have when he lives in a compound? What kind of web of love and trust and friendship does a person have when he is that famous and recognizable? In so many ways Prince was out there on his own.
[Edited 8/18/16 8:07am]
[Edited 8/18/16 8:10am]

/\ I am sorry she lost me as his pupils looked pinned. She could tell that from picture. If had been on these things for 30 he would have been dead as s doornail a long time ago,
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #16 posted 08/18/16 9:14am

lwr001

laurarichardson said:

lwr001 said:
https://www.minnpost.com/mental-health-addiction/2016/06/jennifer-matesa-writer-addiction-prince-was-out-there-his-own [Edited 8/18/16 8:07am] Last week, when the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office released its official report, concluding that Prince had died of self-administered fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid painkiller, I recalled a conversation I’d had back in 2014 with Jennifer Matesa, blogger, recipient of a SAMHSA Voice Awards Fellowship, and author of “The Recovering Body: Physical and Spiritual Fitness for Living Clean and Sober.” In our earlier conversation, Matesa had described her own addiction to fentanyl, and the long and painful process she endured to get the drug out of her system. Then, I paid a visit to Guinevere Gets Sober, Matesa’s popular recovery blog, where I read her personal and compassionate post about Prince, and I knew we had to talk. I gave Matesa a call at her Pittsburgh home earlier this week, and we had a wide-ranging conversation about my favorite musician’s dangerous addiction, his untimely death and about what may have motivated him to use opiates in the first place. The interview has been edited and trimmed. MinnPost: What inspired you to write about Prince on your blog? Jennifer Matesa: As a creative person and a former addict, I have an affinity with Prince. Creative types tend to drive themselves past certain limits. Prince was a physically small man. He was smaller than I am. He spent the majority of his life jumping and dancing around on stage wearing high heels with a heavy guitar strapped on his chest. You can’t expect to do that for 30 years without damaging your body or injuring your psyche. When Prince died in April, at first some people said he was taking Percocet [acetaminophen and oxycodone]. But when I read that they had to give him a save shot when his plane made an emergency landing in Moline, I said, “There was no way he was just taking Percocet. ... He was probably taking a single-entity opioid, and it was probably pretty strong.” I know my drugs. MP: So you’re theorizing that Prince’s addiction started a long time before he died? JM: I’ve read that he was on strong opioids for 25 or 30 years. If that’s so, that means that he probably produced most of the body of his work while on opioids. There are files of photos of him where his pupils are pinned (abnormally constricted). I’ve looked it up online and this goes way, way back. Pinned pupils are the one sign of opioid abuse that a user can’t hide. Photos of Prince, even in low light, show that his pupils are pinned. MP: Clearly, I’m a deluded Minnesotan. I always thought that Prince was sober because he was famous for living such a clean lifestyle. I was sad for me to hear that he was addicted to opioids. Jennifer Matesa Jennifer Matesa JM: I think it is interesting that you say that. What is the cultural prejudice that drives your unwillingness to think that your beloved artist could be a stone junkie? I don’t use words like “junkie” lightly. I used to call myself a junkie. A person can be addicted and still be an artist. They can be addicted and still be an amazing person. MP: Are people ever prescribed fentanyl for hip pain? Could Prince have been getting the drug legally from his physician? JM: Where he got the drug doesn’t matter. The fact is that Prince’s tox screen at the end of his life said that he had fentanyl in his bloodstream. He overdosed on fentanyl. That’s it. I almost overdosed on fentanyl a few times. It [is scary]. MP: How did you end up taking fentanyl? JM: I didn’t start out with fentanyl. I have migraines and fibromyalgia. I started out with codeine during my pregnancy. Then, after I stopped breastfeeding, I switched to Vicodin [acetaminophen and hydrocodone]. When I went to a pain clinic in my hometown of Pittsburgh, I was given pure hydrocodone. Then I moved to OxyContin [oxycodone] and then eventually to fentanyl. By 2005, I was on straight fentanyl patches. I was also given fentanyl lollypops for free. They would give you coupons to take to the pharmacy. I became addicted through my prescribers. It was a particular moment in medical history when physicians were prescribing opioids for all kinds of conditions. MP: But fentanyl is so potent. I thought it was usually reserved for people who are actively dying. JM: That’s not always the case in the United States. Once, when I was traveling overseas, I ran out of fentanyl patches. I went to a pharmacist, who said, “We only give those to people with cancer.” But in this country we give powerful painkillers like that to a lot of people who do not have a fatal disease. Fentanyl is the most potent painkiller. You can’t start on it. It could kill you if you did. You’d have to be taking other opioids for a while first. It is pharmacologically different from other opioids. It is fat-soluble. That means it crosses the blood-brain barrier quickly. That’s part of the reason that fentanyl deaths are increasing in this country. They are not nearly at the level of other opioid-based drugs like heroin, but they are happening. The Federal Drug Abuse Warning Network says that it is very hard for EMS personnel to get to fentanyl victims quickly enough because the drug works so fast. MP: You just said you almost overdosed on fentanyl a few times. How did that happen? JM: I almost overdosed on fentanyl because I took too much. I didn’t go to a hospital. I was lucky I survived. I abused my drugs. I was prescribed adhesive patches that were intended to be placed directly on the skin. But I got to a point where I’d cut my patches into small pieces and stick them to the inside of my cheek so the fentanyl would enter my system faster. I’d do this when I had run out of the drug for a few days before I could fill a new prescription. I’d be in withdrawal, and I figured out that it was a faster way to get the drug into my system. When the drug entered my bloodstream that way, it would spike the levels in my blood. I clearly remember lying in bed at night and feeling that my breathing was slowing. I’d wonder to myself, “Is my body going to remember to breathe?” Sometimes I’d keep myself awake because I didn’t have a way to reverse the effects of the drug. MP: This sounds frightening. What did it feel like? JM: The feeling of respiratory depression is really scary. It is beyond your control. It is almost as if you are lying down and someone is stacking bricks on your chest. You can’t breathe. I am very fortunate that I didn’t die. If you write in your column that I told you I cut the patch into pieces, make sure to say it can kill you. It is lethal. MP: I know that this question may be going too far, but I’m still going to ask it: When you experienced that feeling of respiratory depression, were you ever at the point where you just thought, “Maybe I should surrender to this?” If you’d rather not answer, I’d respect that. JM: Actually, it’s a really great question, because so many people are overdosing these days and a lot of the discussion about addiction is being driven around whether people who fatally overdose actually do it on purpose. I personally think that a lot or even most of these overdoses are accidents. People don’t actually want to die. They either have taken heroin that is spiked with a drug that is stronger than they thought it was, or they take an opioid with alcohol or a benzodiazepine and that makes it fatal. Those few times when I experienced respiratory depression, I didn’t want to die. I had a young child and I wanted to stay alive for him. One of the reasons I got sober was because I wanted to be present for my son and for other loved ones in my life. Then, as I started to get better, I realized that I had things I wanted to do in life that might actually help other people and I needed to stay alive and sober in order to do that. MP: You still suffer from migraines and fibromyalgia. How do you do to treat your pain now? JM: I use exercise and meditation. I use appropriate diet. I use nonaddictive medication to get rid of the headaches. These are all things that I’ve written about in my book. What I’ve tried to do to treat my pain is to take better care of my body. I have to understand my limits. I cannot dig in the garden for eight hours. I have to pay attention to my pain and take care of it and not just numb it. MP: Do you think Prince was numbing his pain? JM: How do I know what Prince was really doing? There are ways in which creative people get afraid that the creativity will someday leave them. That’s what drives the anxiety and sometimes the use. I know it worked that way for me. MP: That sounds like a much bigger problem than straight-up addiction. JM: In this country you are not supposed to suffer emotional pain. That is not the American way. We are supposed to have these easygoing, carefree lives. But every life comes with unhappiness and struggle. The way we get through that is community. In the case of Prince, we’re talking about a person who had this really tough childhood, yet he had this extraordinary talent. Then he proves himself and then he becomes super-famous and wealthy. That is a recipe for isolation. What kind of community does a person have when he lives in a compound? What kind of web of love and trust and friendship does a person have when he is that famous and recognizable? In so many ways Prince was out there on his own. [Edited 8/18/16 8:07am] [Edited 8/18/16 8:10am]
/\ I am sorry she lost me as his pupils looked pinned. She could tell that from picture. If had been on these things for 30 he would have been dead as s doornail a long time ago,

obvisouly you dont know any dope fiends..i have acquantances who have been using since their teens and are now in there 60's so you are incorrect

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #17 posted 08/18/16 9:22am

endiadj

lights can also affect pupil size. in his pictures this could be the case. not everything is about drugs.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #18 posted 08/18/16 9:24am

lwr001

endiadj said:

lights can also affect pupil size. in his pictures this could be the case. not everything is about drugs.

true, yet it could be

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #19 posted 08/18/16 9:36am

LuxLove

This whole part seriously pisses me off:


JM: I’ve read that he was on strong opioids for 25 or 30 years. If that’s so, that means that he probably produced most of the body of his work while on opioids. There are files of photos of him where his pupils are pinned (abnormally constricted). I’ve looked it up online and this goes way, way back. Pinned pupils are the one sign of opioid abuse that a user can’t hide. Photos of Prince, even in low light, show that his pupils are pinned.

MP: Clearly, I’m a deluded Minnesotan. I always thought that Prince was sober because he was famous for living such a clean lifestyle. I was sad for me to hear that he was addicted to opioids.

JM: I think it is interesting that you say that. What is the cultural prejudice that drives your unwillingness to think that your beloved artist could be a stone junkie? I don’t use words like “junkie” lightly. I used to call myself a junkie. A person can be addicted and still be an artist. They can be addicted and still be an amazing person.



The difference between addiction & dependency may just be semantics until you consider the connotations of each word. I am not saying there is anything wrong with addicts I know it's a disease but there is a big difference in what your mind conjures up when you hear the word Junkie versus hearing the word dependent. Intentional or not but it's shit like this right here why the majority of the public now believe Prince was nothing but another drugged up rock star & will forever be looking for clues in his performances etc. It's bullshit.


Oh & her "I've read he was on strong opioids for 25 or 30 years" - she's not serious? Where's her evidence or proof? Where did she get that National Enquirer?! Let's all just believe everything we read like sheeple.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #20 posted 08/18/16 9:51am

sunset3121

lwr001 said:

NouveauDance said:

Thread title delivered: It is worth reading, and it did bring up some good points. Thanks.

.

I thought the part about people not starting on fentanyl was interesting. And the person being interviewed never tried to second guess Prince's motives. The last paragraph was particularly poignant and something that has been touched on many times over the years by fans.

You are correct , that caught my attention as well also , then looking at historical photos and makign the statement about the pupils being pinned and saying there was evidence from photos years ago of pinned pupils

And turning this into a photo thread, here is some historical evidence:

None of these are pinpoint. But then, pinpoint pupils are an OD thing anyway. Pupils will be more constricted in an opiate user than a non user but there is no-one to compare these photos against to see if these pupils are abnormally small or not for the well lit conditions.

.

So one for comparison. Close up their pupils are similar in size. He must have been having a day off his 30 year addiction:

http://cdn.pinknews.co.uk/images/2016/05/prince-1.jpg

[Edited 8/18/16 12:58pm]

[Edited 8/18/16 18:36pm]

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #21 posted 08/18/16 9:55am

rogifan

I don't get the whole pupil thing. I've seen photos of Primce from say, 1999 where he had tiny pupils and some from 2014/15 where he didn't. It's not like other attributes where you could clearly see he looked much different in April 2016 than he did in January 2013.

Based on other posts from the OP I get the feeling they believe P was a long time addict and posted this because it fits their agenda.
[Edited 8/18/16 10:01am]
Paisley Park is in your heart
#PrinceForever 💜
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #22 posted 08/18/16 10:02am

sunset3121

rogifan said:

I don't get the whole pupil thing. I've seen photos of Primce from say, 1999 where he had tiny pupils and some from 2014/15 where he didn't. It's not like other attributes where you could clearly see he looked much different in April 2016 than he did in January 2013.

It's ridiculous. It could be lighting. It could be drugs. It could be a mixture of the two or something else. Lets just make wild assumptions about the last 30 years.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #23 posted 08/18/16 10:07am

rogifan

sunset3121 said:



rogifan said:


I don't get the whole pupil thing. I've seen photos of Primce from say, 1999 where he had tiny pupils and some from 2014/15 where he didn't. It's not like other attributes where you could clearly see he looked much different in April 2016 than he did in January 2013.

It's ridiculous. It could be lighting. It could be drugs. It could be a mixture of the two or something else. Lets just make wild assumptions about the last 30 years.


I don't know what the good points are exactly other than someone has an agenda, belives X and this article just validates their belief.
Paisley Park is in your heart
#PrinceForever 💜
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #24 posted 08/18/16 10:12am

leadline

avatar

rogifan said:

I don't get the whole pupil thing. I've seen photos of Primce from say, 1999 where he had tiny pupils and some from 2014/15 where he didn't. It's not like other attributes where you could clearly see he looked much different in April 2016 than he did in January 2013. Based on other posts from the OP I get the feeling they believe P was a long time addict and posted this because it fits their agenda. [Edited 8/18/16 10:01am]


It's a ridiculous argument, as I said, grasping at straws to try and prove something. Pupils get big, pupils get small, especially in high light situations when you are being photographed.

"You always get the dream that you deserve, from what you value the most" -Prince 2013
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #25 posted 08/18/16 10:15am

leadline

avatar

LuxLove said:

This whole part seriously pisses me off:


JM: I’ve read that he was on strong opioids for 25 or 30 years. If that’s so, that means that he probably produced most of the body of his work while on opioids. There are files of photos of him where his pupils are pinned (abnormally constricted). I’ve looked it up online and this goes way, way back. Pinned pupils are the one sign of opioid abuse that a user can’t hide. Photos of Prince, even in low light, show that his pupils are pinned.

MP: Clearly, I’m a deluded Minnesotan. I always thought that Prince was sober because he was famous for living such a clean lifestyle. I was sad for me to hear that he was addicted to opioids.

JM: I think it is interesting that you say that. What is the cultural prejudice that drives your unwillingness to think that your beloved artist could be a stone junkie? I don’t use words like “junkie” lightly. I used to call myself a junkie. A person can be addicted and still be an artist. They can be addicted and still be an amazing person.



The difference between addiction & dependency may just be semantics until you consider the connotations of each word. I am not saying there is anything wrong with addicts I know it's a disease but there is a big difference in what your mind conjures up when you hear the word Junkie versus hearing the word dependent. Intentional or not but it's shit like this right here why the majority of the public now believe Prince was nothing but another drugged up rock star & will forever be looking for clues in his performances etc. It's bullshit.


Oh & her "I've read he was on strong opioids for 25 or 30 years" - she's not serious? Where's her evidence or proof? Where did she get that National Enquirer?! Let's all just believe everything we read like sheeple.


...and that is the underlying problem, how easily led, or, misled the masses seem to be. Throw it in print, hear 3 other people say it, and it is an undisputed fact, even seemingly by the more discerning folks. Nobody wants to think for themselves anymore, they let others think for them, even if the result of that process goes against every grain of common sense in ones being.

[Edited 8/18/16 10:16am]

"You always get the dream that you deserve, from what you value the most" -Prince 2013
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #26 posted 08/18/16 10:15am

laurarichardso
n

rogifan said:

I don't get the whole pupil thing. I've seen photos of Primce from say, 1999 where he had tiny pupils and some from 2014/15 where he didn't. It's not like other attributes where you could clearly see he looked much different in April 2016 than he did in January 2013.

Based on other posts from the OP I get the feeling they believe P was a long time addict and posted this because it fits their agenda.
[Edited 8/18/16 10:01am]

/// Exactly, like I said before he would have never made no 30 years on that stuff. Our society is so obssessed with drugs or drug culture that everybody must be on them. I firmly believe his problems started with an Rx and was indeed for pain. It is shame no one will accept this.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #27 posted 08/18/16 10:20am

NouveauDance

avatar

Honestly I don't think the pinned pupils thing is even worth latching on to, it barely even registered with me, it certainly wasn't the main point of the piece to me.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #28 posted 08/18/16 10:27am

ldmendes

avatar

I get real uncomfortable with this stuff. I have had susbstance problems, but people stepped in to help me. I am sad he's gone and it bothers me that it didn't have to happen. If people did know and did nothing, that bothers me. There are international stars that have so many problems, but because they are making money and bringing fame and notarity to others, the people around them don't care, they use them. I think that happened to Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. Bottom line..I have never taken fentanyl so i don't know what that feels like and I certainly have never written a song. To me his musical genuis and status remains true..I don't care about the rest.

..Hello, who is it?
Yes, this is a prettyman, Princey!
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #29 posted 08/18/16 10:31am

morningsong

This same article again where somebody is trying to cut and paste their experience on somebody they didn't know and never had a real conversation with. Using a handful of photographs as some kind of circumstantial evidence that they are quite knowledgeable about another person's habits. Bullsh*t! Any fool can do that. Go to the picture thread and you'll see this man's history laid out before and you still won't know jack about him and his daily life.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Page 1 of 5 12345>
  New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
« Previous topic  Next topic »
Forums > Prince: Music and More > Article worth reading. Brings up good points