Watch: Stage is Set for Discussion About Drug Abuse

Richland County, S.C. (WOLO) — New details emerging in the death investigation of legendary music icon Prince, point to a potential drug addiction.

Nearly two weeks after the death of singing superstar Prince, the attorney for a well known California addiction specialist says representatives for the singer were reaching out days before he died.

Attorney William Mauzy says, “He set into motion a plan to deal with what he felt was a life saving mission.”

Prince’s potential painkiller addiction sets the stage for a larger discussion about drug abuse across the country

Melanie Peebles, with LRADAC says, “The national research tells us that that’s a growing trend especially among adolescence. I mean it’s chronic and it’s deadly.”

According to Peebles drug abuse is a deadly but dominant part of the American culture.

She explains, “Our society advertises to that. You can’t go very many places without seeing substances either in movies or the media or bars everywhere.”

County Coroner Gary Watts tells ABC Columbia, in the last 18 months Richland County has experienced a significant spike in overdoes deaths specifically related to heroin.

“Now we’re seeing them multiple deaths every months if not every week associated with heroin. We’ve had well over a dozen so far this year,” says Watts.

A trend that he expects to continue and that doesn’t discriminate.

Officials agree, the key to preventing drug deaths in Richland County and across the nation is prevention through education.

“Talking about it, having a really good attitude that says this isn’t something that’s going to be okay in our family and it will not be something that we tolerate,” says Peebles.

Categories: Local News, News