Legendary musician Tom Petty’s cause of death has been revealed by his family. Prior to the official release of the coroner’s report, the bereaved family, including his widow, Dana, and his daughter, Adria, released a statement of their own, confirming the rocker’s death from an accidental drug overdose.
Only 66 years old at the time of his death, Petty was found to have taken a lethal combination of painkillers, sedatives, and antidepressants, all of which were legally prescribed to Petty. The music great had recently suffered a fractured hip, the pain of which his family believes led to his accidental overdose.
Accidental overdoses such as Petty’s have made headlines in the entertainment industry in recent years, further exposing another side of the opioid crisis. Thousands of people across the country are prescribed opioid medications for pain management, with little awareness of the risks that lie within.
Petty’s family agrees that education of this topic is key in preventing senseless deaths.
“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,” the family wrote in their statement.
The coroner revealed that Fentanyl patches were involved with Petty’s death. The sheer potency of even a single Fentanyl patch is not to be underestimated, particularly when combined with medications that could further exaggerate its effects.
When combined with a sedative, such as in Petty’s case, opioid misuse can slow breathing and heart rate, eventually causing death.
As the world mourns the loss of a fantastic musician, his family mourns the loss of a wonderful husband and father. Their statement to the public speaks volumes; in light of this tragedy, we must work diligently to educate the public on pain management and the risks of medication combinations and misuse.
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