Law Enforcement Confirms Prince's Cause of Death

An unnamed law enforcement official said on Thursday that the musical icon Prince died of an opioid overdose in April, The Associated Press reports.

Rumors about the cause of death surfaced shortly after Prince was found dead at his Minneapolis home, but the autopsy results were not immediately released. Now an anonymous law enforcement source has told the Associated Press that testing shows Prince had a lethal amount of opioids in his system.


Prince was reportedly prescribed Percocet, a potent painkiller, after a corrective hip surgery in 2010. It is unclear if he continued to receive that prescription for more than five years (opioid-based painkillers are most effective for short-term use, studies show), but investigators did reportedly find "prescription opioid medication" on Prince's person and at his home following his death, CNN reports.

"Investigators have been reviewing whether Prince died of an overdose and whether a doctor was prescribing him drugs in the weeks before his death," the Associated Press reports.

As ATTN: previously reported, Prince's death raised national attention to a public health crisis in America known as the opioid epidemic. More than 14,000 people died from prescription painkiller overdoses in 2014 alone, which is nearly quadruple the rate of prescription opioid overdoses in 1999, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

RELATED: Prince's Reported Painkiller Uses Call Attention to the Opioid Crisis