The autopsy report is calling this one an ‘accidental overdose’. Here’s what the LA coroner’s office found inside Tom Petty’s body at the time of his death.
Looks like Tom Petty was going pretty heavy on the opioids.
According to a just-released toxicology report, the singer had little chance against a lethal combination of powerful painkillers. That includes three different types of fentanyl — at the same time.
Fentanyl is an ultra-powerful opioid with far greater effects than street heroin. It’s also the same drug that killed Prince. In both cases, the drugs were prescribed — though Prince created an intricate network of runners with bogus prescriptions to feed his addiction.
Also swimming in Tom Petty’s system: oxycodone, temazepam, alprazolam, and citalopram. And a Diet Coke.
Somehow, Los Angeles County coroner Jonathan Lucas judged that cocktail ‘accidental’. Maybe that strange assessment was issued because the drugs themselves are legal. Or, at least legal when properly prescribed under a doctor’s supervision.
At this stage, it’s unclear how Tom Petty obtained such massive and lethal doses. One possibility is that all of these drugs were properly prescribed — and taken improperly. The other alternative isn’t a pretty picture, and could spell ramifications for anyone enabling an addiction.
Indeed, the controversial assessment highlights a major issue with America’s growing opioid crisis.
And look no further than Tom Petty, Prince, and Michael Jackson for evidence of just how out of control prescription medications have grown. In the case of Petty, this overdose was rooted in physical pain — like so many other opioid tragedies.
Accordingly, Tom Petty’s family pointed to a number of ongoing ailments requiring painkillers. “Before the report was share, we knew that he was prescribed various pain medications for a multitude of issues including Fentanyl patches,” the family stated on Facebook.
“We feel confident that this was, as the coroner found, an unfortunate accident.”
The family also noted that Petty had fractured his hip on the day of his death. That required extra doses of painkillers, which ultimately killed the singer.
The lethal opioid cocktail also explains the strange circumstances surrounding Petty’s last hours.
Tom Petty died in October, but he was actually declared dead before he technically passed away. Of course, now the reason is obvious: Petty’s system was flatlining on half-a-dozen powerful painkilling agents, a combination that pushed the singer’s vital signs towards zero.
And, ultimately, created a very preventable death.
Speaking upon the near-certain controversy likely to surround Petty’s death, the family also offered this statement:
“As a family we recognize this report may spark a further discussion on the opioid crisis and we feel that it is a healthy and necessary discussion and we hope in some way this report can save lives. Many people who overdose begin with a legitimate injury or simply do not understand the potency and deadly nature of these medications.”
Top image by musicisentropy (CC by 2.0).