Addiction expert on way to Prince

By Lindsey Bever

Toxicology results from Prince's postmortem examination could still be weeks away, say officials.
Toxicology results from Prince's postmortem examination could still be weeks away, say officials.

Prince was found dead at his Minnesota compound just one day before he was supposed to meet a doctor to help him with his alleged painkiller addiction, according to a published report.

Lawyer William Mauzy told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis that representatives for Prince called Howard Kornfeld, a northern California doctor who specialises in opioid-addiction treatment, on the night of April 20 because the musician "was dealing with a grave medical emergency".

The following morning, Prince's body was discovered in a lift at his Paisley Park complex.

Kornfeld, the medical director at Recovery Without Walls, could not meet Prince until April 22, so he sent his son and associate, Andrew Kornfeld, to fill Prince in on the medical care that the clinic could offer him, their family's attorney told the Star Tribune.

"The plan was to quickly evaluate his health and devise a treatment plan," Mauzy, who is working with the Kornfelds, told the newspaper.

"The doctor was planning on a lifesaving mission."

Mauzy, a prominent Minneapolis lawyer, said Andrew Kornfeld arrived early on April 21 at Prince's home, bringing buprenorphine, a medication that is used to treat opioid addiction.

Mauzy said Andrew Kornfeld told him when Prince was found the other people on the scene "screamed" and "were in too much shock," so Kornfeld made the emergency call.

The Carver County Sheriff's Office recently released a transcript of the call in which Kornfeld told a dispatcher he needed help "at Prince's house".

"So yeah, um, the person is dead here," he told the 911 operator.

The dispatcher kept asking him to find the address of the home and he continually replied, "I'm working on it, I'm working on it."

"Okay, do we know how the person died?" the dispatcher asked.

"I don't know, I don't know," he said.

Moments later, he alerted the authorities to their exact location.

"Paisley Park," he said.

"You're at Paisley Park; okay, that's in Chanhassen," the dispatcher said. "Are you with the person who's ..."

"Yes," he interrupted, "it's Prince."

An autopsy was completed on April 22, but the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office said toxicology results could take weeks.

Prince's team hoped the musician would be willing to go to California with Kornfeld for long-term treatment, Mauzy said.

Kornfeld, described on his website as a "nationally recognised leader in the utilisation of the opioid pain medication", runs a private medical practice near San Francisco.

- Washington Post

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