Tom Petty died of accidental drug overdose, family says

Tom Petty died of accidental drug overdose, family says
Posted at 7:27 PM, Jan 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-19 15:16:30-05

(RNN) - Rocker Tom Petty died of an accidental drug overdose from taking a variety of medications to deal with a variety of ailments, his family revealed Friday night in a statement posted on the rocker's website and Facebook page.

His ailments included emphysema, knee problems and a hip fracture. He toured for 53 days on a 40th anniversary tour despite the fracture.

Petty was prescibed a variety of medications, including fentayl patches, his family said.

"On the day he died, he was informed his hip had graduated to a full on break and it is our feeling that the pain was simply unbearable and was the cause for his overuse of medication," Petty's family stated.

"On a positive note we now know for certain he went painlessly and beautifully exhausted after doing what he loved the most, for one last time, performing live with his unmatchable rock band for his loyal fans on the biggest tour of his 40 plus year career," his family added. "He was extremely proud of that achievement in the days before he passed." 

Petty's family said they hoped the revelation would add to the national discussion on opioid abuse.

"Many people who overdose begin with a legitimate injury or simply do not understand the potency and deadly nature of these medications," the family said.

More than 90 people a day die of opioid abuse in the U.S., according to the Associated Press.

Petty died Oct. 2, 2017 at age 66. He is known for a variety of hits with his band The Heartbreakers, including "Free Fallin'' and "I Won't Back Down."

He is one of the many musicians whose lives have been claimed by drug overdoses.

Prince Rogers Nelson, known to the world simply as Prince, died in April 2016 at his home in Chanhassen, MN, also from overdosing on the synthenic opioid fentanyl, allegedly used to deal with injuries from performing, the LA Times stated.

Michael Jackson overdosed on sedatives in June 2009. His personal physician, Conrad Murray, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011 and sentenced to four years in prison.

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