By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — This Friday marks the one-year anniversary of the death of Prince from an accidental overdose of the opioid fentanyl.

Addiction experts and public health officials agree his passing has helped elevate discussion and awareness of the opioid epidemic here in Minnesota and around the world.

The figures are staggering. In Hennepin County alone, opioid deaths rose from 97 in 2015 to 153 in 2016 – that’s a 57 percent jump.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar has said Prince’s passing has helped galvanize lawmakers to propose measures such as the creation of a national opioid register to try to prevent addicts from picking up multiple prescriptions.

Advocates say his death is also a reminder that opioid addiction is an equal opportunity disease — that even someone as talented and wealthy as Prince can be a victim.

“That he died of this really brings home the fact that over a third of the people that are prescribed opioids become addicted to them,” said Lexi Reed Holtum, the executive director of the Steve Rummler Hope Foundation.

Advocates say Prince’s passing has also led to laws and regulations across the country to make it easier for members of the general public to get access to Narcan, the antidote to an opioid overdose.

  1. Yo world – an addict is an addict. They use and abuse.
    Nothing new and OD’s and deaths n the 50s.
    Today it’s a new world – ‘net and cells and silly stuff. To much idle time on hands. Affluence and either have or can steal what they do to support.
    People die – well, people also survive. And sober up.
    Your decision in the end.
    What ya gonna do when the dope comes for you
    bad boy bad boy

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

More From WCCO | CBS Minnesota

Good Question
Best Of Minnesota
Excellent Educator

Watch & Listen LIVE