Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Where Were Prince's Pals When He Needed Them? Failure of Singer's So-Called Friends to Help the Police Probe into His Death Has Left the Star's Family Disgusted

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Where Were Prince's Pals When He Needed Them? Failure of Singer's So-Called Friends to Help the Police Probe into His Death Has Left the Star's Family Disgusted

Article excerpt

Byline: StatesideWith US Editor Christopher Bucktin

WHEN officials announced they were closing the investigation into Prince's drug-fuelled death without charging anyone, it marked a failure that is now all too familiar.

While authorities said they found no indications of foul play, the singer died from an accidental overdose after unknowingly taking a counterfeit Vicodin pill laced with fentanyl.

But, despite the iconic musician being one of the most famous men on the planet, a multi-million dollar police investigation led to no charges being brought.

It highlighted how it doesn't matter whether someone is a rich superstar or a homeless person on the streets, the drug pushers who fuel their deaths very rarely face the justice they deserve.

The opioid crisis that blights both our nations requires immediate attention, not only because Prince died but also because many of us know someone who has been damaged, sometimes beyond repair, by drug abuse.

Last year saw the number of drug-related deaths recorded in England and Wales hit an all-time high.

The Office for National Statistics said 3,744 people - 2,572 men and 1,172 women - were fatally poisoned in 2016, 70 more than the previous year and the highest number since comparable statistics began in 1993.

In America, some 60,000 die each year from a drugs overdose.

If a terrorist killed that many people, we would find focus and we should do the same with this lethal threat.

But while authorities must fight the war on the drugs, equally those around addicts such as Prince, have a part to play.

None of us know the kinds of things those close to him did to warrant their place within his inner circle or how deep their friendship was, but one thing is clear - several betrayed him.

According to documents from the investigation, the Purple Rain singer had nearly 68 micrograms of fentanyl per litre of blood in his system at the time of his death. …

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