Tom Petty Was Yet Another Needless Casualty Of The Opioid Epidemic

Angelo Anderson
January 21, 2018

Tom Petty's family says his death a year ago was due to an accidental drug overdose.

The coroner's report identified a lethal combination of medications in Petty's system including the opioids fentanyl, oxycodone, acetyl fentanyl and despropionyl fentanyl along with drugs normally used to treat insomnia and anxiety, temazepam and alprazolam, and the antidepressant citalopram. He had suffered cardiac arrest. He and his longtime band the Heartbreakers had recently completed a 40th-anniversary tour, one he hinted would be their last.

Petty's wife Dana and daughter Adria released a joint statement in wake of the official cause of death announcement...

The day he died, doctors informed Petty that the hip fracture had progressed to a full break. But the pain soon became unbearable and led Petty to turn to medication, the family said.

The family said Petty had been prescribed various pain medications for his multitude of issues, including fentanyl patches, and "we feel confident that this was, as the coroner found, an unfortunate accident".

"As a family we recognise this report may spark a further discussion on the opioid crisis and we feel that is a healthy and necessary discussion and we hope in some way this report can save lives", the statement said.

Fentanyl, a synthetic narcotic about 50 times stronger than heroin, is linked to thousands of overdoses and fatalities across the country. An accidental overdose of fentanyl was also determined to have killed Prince in April 2016. A report by The Washington Post a year ago showed 582 fatal overdoses from fentanyl in 2014, followed by a surge to 3,946 such deaths in 2016.

Petty, whose ringing guitar riffs, distinctive vocals and well-wrought everyman lyrics graced such hits as "Refugee", "Free Fallin´" and "American Girl", was found unconscious at his home in Malibu on October 2 and died at a hospital later that night.

Dana and Adria Petty said that the veteran musician was suffering from emphysema, knee problems and most significantly a fractured hip that he was treating with medication so that he could continue touring. The news is particularly heartbreaking considering that Petty played through the pain over the past year of his life so that he wouldn't let down fans.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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