Buprenorphine: The Drug That Could Have Saved Prince

It’s been over a month since Prince’s passing and the world is still mourning the death of the Purple Legend. After a whirlwind of media speculation, the Associated Press has officially reported today that the singer died of an opioid overdose. According to court records, Dr. Michael Schulenberg, a Minneapolis-area doctor, and Dr. Howard Kornfeld, a nationally recognized opioid addiction specialist, were both called the day before Prince’s death. Since Howard was not able to clear his schedule, he sent his son, Andrew Kornfeld, on his behalf with a small amount of buprenorphine. This drug could have potentially saved Prince but, unfortunately, Andrew arrived hours too late.
What is Buprenorphine? 
 Buprenorphine is an opioid agonist prescribed to help people reduce or quit the use of highly addictive opiates such as heroin and opioid painkillers. Typically sold under the trade name Suboxone, buprenorphine binds to the same opioid receptors in the brain but doesn’t produce a euphoric high. It is primarily used in medication assisted treatment and may be administered in the physician’s office or prescribed for take-home use. Additionally, it can help stabilize a person experiencing opiate overdose.

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