Prince's death might be linked to counterfeit pills

New information suggests Prince's opioid overdose may be linked to a larger counterfeit pill scheme, according to The Washington Post.

The pop star died April 21 due to a fentanyl overdose. Fentanyl is a drug that is roughly 80 times as powerful as morphine, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Investigators now believe Prince may have been unaware he was taking fentanyl before his death, according to The Washington Post. At Prince's Minnesota estate, investigators found an Aleve bottle containing two dozen pills stamped with the label "Watson 385," which is a generic painkiller made up of acetaminophen and hydrocodone. However, the pills also contained fentanyl, according to the report.

While it is not yet confirmed, investigators are now pursuing the theory that the mismarked pills caused Prince's death, according to the report. If so, Prince would be a high-profile victim of a larger counterfeit pill scheme. The Washington Post cites a July report from the DEA that warned counterfeit prescription pills containing fentanyl are making their way to the U.S.

"Law enforcement nationwide report higher fentanyl availability, seizures and known overdose deaths than at any other time since the drug's creation in 1959," the DEA report reads.


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