May 13 2016
Music fans got some crushing news last week that iconic performer Prince had passed away suddenly at his home from a drug-overdose related incident. Early reports are that it wasn’t heroin, cocaine, or alcohol that killed Prince, but prescription painkillers.
In fact, it seems Prince OD’d on Percocet only days before his death, ingesting so much of the painkiller that EMTs had to revive him with a “save shot” at an airport after his plane made an emergency landing.
Percocet, which contains a combination of acetaminophen and the opioid oxycodone, is highly addictive, and Prince wasn’t immune despite all of his wealth, fame, and access to elite medical care. In fact, Prince was a vegan who worked out and took care of his health religiously. But after a hip injury and corrective surgery in 2010, he started taking the prescription painkiller – and got hooked.
Prince’s half-brother-half-sister, and family attorney, among others, have confirmed his Percocet addiction, but stressed that by no means he was a recreational drug user. He became dependent on the highly addictive opioid painkiller to deal with the intense pain in his hips after performing, and then to come down after shows and try to sleep as the medication started to take over his life.
His fall was as devastating and tragic as any addict, as he reportedly was visiting his neighborhood Walgreens up to 4 times a week and visible agitated and unhealthy before his death. The day before he died, his people called a one of the top opioid addiction specialists in the country, seeking emergency help for Prince. But the next day, Prince was found unresponsive on an elevator in his house, and couldn’t be revived after 911 were called.
After working with the local Carver County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration have opened a formal investigation into his death, in part to determine how Prince got his prescription or non-prescription Percocet, and from whom.
Perhaps they are asking the wrong question, for if they really want to do some good and prevent this from happening again and again, they should be investigating “Why?” instead.
Why are Americans are now filling approximately 260 million prescriptions for opiate painkillers every year?
Why have deaths from prescription opioids more than doubled – to 16,000 every year – in the last decade?
Why have overdose deaths from legal prescription opioids gone up 400 hundred percent since 1999?
Why are deaths from prescription painkillers 250% higher than deaths from illegal drugs like heroin?
Why do more people ages 25 to 64 die from prescription drug overdoses than car accidents?
This is devastating and sad news, not just because it’s Prince that succumbed to a painkiller overdose, but also because it happens so often in our society unnecessarily that it’s not even newsworthy – unless a celebrity is involved.
The most tragic part of this is that chiropractic care could significantly reduce the number of painkiller prescriptions we need, and therefore the prevalence of addiction and overdoses, like in the case of Prince.
Of course there are times when prescription drugs and painkillers are needed, warranted, and the most responsible treatment option, but far too often, they become the first point of treatment – an automatic or default option for doctors and the traditional medical establishment – instead of safer, more natural, and frankly, more lasting and effective care. Unfortunately, doctors are highly incentivized by the pharmaceutical companies and medical establishment to acutely over-prescribe these drugs, abandoning other healthier, more holistic, and natural treatments that better serve patients over the long term.
Treating pain with chiropractic care, whether from migraine headaches, lower back pain, injuries – or in Prince’s case, hip injuries – is particularly effective. Chiropractic realigns your body’s natural balance, allowing it to heal the source of the pain, not just masking the symptoms. Therefore it’s also much safer and than taking prescription painkillers and risking addiction, abuse, and overdose.
Come talk to us if you are experiencing any pain or want to understand the benefits of chiropractic care over prescription painkillers for treatment.