Patterico's Pontifications


L.A. County Coroner Releases Findings on Cause of Tom Petty’s Death

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:30 pm

The Los Angeles County Coroner has released its findings as to the cause of Tom Petty’s death. Their conclusion: a massive and accidental overdose of different medications, including opioids.

Tom Petty, the chart-topping singer and songwriter, died in October from an accidental drug overdose as a result of mixing medications that included opioids, the medical examiner-coroner for the county of Los Angeles announced on Friday, ending the mystery surrounding his sudden death last year.

The coroner, Jonathan Lucas, said that Mr. Petty’s system showed traces of the drugs fentanyl, oxycodone, temazepam, alprazolam, citalopram, acetyl fentanyl and despropionyl fentanyl.

Barely a week after Mr. Petty, 66, had concluded a tour with his band, the Heartbreakers, with two shows at the Hollywood Bowl, representatives said the singer had suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu, Calif. on Oct. 2. But Mr. Petty’s official death certificate, released about a week later, listed his cause of death as “deferred” pending an autopsy.

In a statement posted to Mr. Petty’s Facebook page on Friday, his wife, Dana, and daughter, Adria, wrote that Mr. Petty suffered from “many serious ailments including emphysema, knee problems and most significantly a fractured hip,” but that he continued to tour, worsening his conditions. “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 over use of medication,” the statement said.

Reports of the hip fracture emerged in October, after Petty’s death.

Late rock icon Tom Petty completed his final tour with a hairline fracture in his left hip.

The I Won’t Back Down hitmaker’s longtime manager, Tony Dimitriades, reveals he advised the singer against embarking on his massive 40th anniversary tour of North America with his band Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers until he had the injury fixed, but the star refused to listen.

“I don’t know how it happened – I don’t think he even knew when it happened,” Dimitriades tells Rolling Stone magazine, recalling Petty’s response to his word of warning as, “Why not? I’ll do it (tour) in a chair if I have to.”

He had apparently decided to retire from the road after his last tour, but wanted to finish it for his fans.

What a shame.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

31 Responses to “L.A. County Coroner Releases Findings on Cause of Tom Petty’s Death”

  1. Know when to take a break.

    And it only takes one time screwing up a dosage to be the last one.


    Btw – hope Willie’s doing better.

    harkin (8d01aa)

  2. That is a serious cocktail of substances, one wonders how he could stand up.

    narciso (d1f714)

  3. unfortunate

    mg (8cbc69)

  4. So he’s more or less another indirect victim of opioids.

    Petty details sometimes truly, truly suck. A tragic loss. But the world has his music– and it’ll live on.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  5. so do we go after his doctor now like we did when michael jackson kicked it

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  6. … fentanyl, oxycodone, temazepam, alprazolam, citalopram, acetyl fentanyl and despropionyl fentanyl

    Ugh; reads like the sticker on the side of a gasoline pump.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  7. Coming down is the hardest thing. But he’s got wings now and I’m sure he drew a Rickenbacker instead of a harp.

    nk (dbc370)

  8. Don’t they say that fentanyl, in equal amounts as pure heroin, is supposed to be 50 times as strong?

    Still brings a tear to my eye realizing he’s gone… I was a big fan of his Buried Treasure Sirius radio shows and remember my purchase of his first album very well. Only saw him once – ’06 30th anniversary tour – and came away very impressed.

    My gosh, he will be missed.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  9. It’s a street drug import from ComChina. Same illicit that did for Prince. Calling it an opioid tends to obscure the criminal aspect. Fentanyl from China has been slaughtering Americans wholesale. You only read about the famous victims.

    papertiger (c8116c)

  10. Unsafe at any level. Even when darting rhinoceros on the Nature Channel.

    papertiger (c8116c)

  11. Who said there’s no easy way out?

    Pinandpuller (1af90c)

  12. not hillary

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  13. Please. My father suffered from extreme chronic bone pain (ankylosing spondylitis) and he was treated with a Fentanyil patch, under the brand name Duragesic. I’ve met a lot of druggies and was amazed at the myths they related about the junk they were hocking their grandparents’ wedding rings for. What papertiger related about Fentanyil, I imagine is one of them, unless he meant Carfentanil. That is an elephant tranquilizer, too potent for any human application.

    nk (dbc370)

  14. There is an even more powerful one, Etorphine M99.

    nk (dbc370)

  15. “unless he meant Carfentanil. That is an elephant tranquilizer, too potent for any human application.”

    Bah! I knew a guy back in college who would prove you wrong…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  16. If Petty was on Fentanyl for a broken hip, it was likely the legal Schedule II medication, not a junkie-eradicator from China.

    nk (dbc370)

  17. I’ll defer to your expertise , nk.

    Still, watch out for the brown acid.

    papertiger (c8116c)

  18. I thought it was coming from Mexico?

    narciso (d1f714)

  19. “Fentanyl was utilized initially to make the death experience painless,” Levenson, a recovered addict himself, explained. “It was never intended to be used during the course of someone’s life to manage pain. It is extremely over-prescribed and highly sought after by addicts.

    “It hits you fast and it wears off fast, so it’s not a good drug for someone who is, for instance, recovering from knee surgery, although it’s widely prescribed. It was never designed for that.”

    – addiction expert and founder of Origins Behavioral Healthcare, Ben Levenson, told PEOPLE

    There you have it. Straight from Nurse Kavorkian.

    papertiger (c8116c)

  20. Could be that’s why they developed the time release patch.

    nk (dbc370)

  21. Nothing says rock and roll like a singer with a Southern accent. His greatest talent was song writing and recording. I saw him several times including Dec. 31, 1978, at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. I’m also a big fan of his band with guitarist Mike Campbell a master of playing to the song. It’s a shame he left too soon.

    AZ Bob (f60c80)

  22. I entered law school at the same time Reagan was being elected President, and I could title a couple of sections of my autobiography “The Mexican Brown Years” and “The China White Years”. I guess now would be “The Opioid Years” if I were still reading search warrant affidavits.

    nk (dbc370)

  23. Patches? We don’t need no stinking patches!

    Pinandpuller (1af90c)

  24. *Spoiler

    Fentanyl patches are a big part of the new Reacher book.

    Pinandpuller (1af90c)

  25. I guess you can cut a fentanyl patch up and use it like a Skoal Bandit.

    Pinandpuller (1af90c)

  26. I’d like to shove those patches up the azz of everyone that voted for the Schumer shutdown.

    mg (8cbc69)

  27. I see rue paul voted for the Schumer shutdown, just another baby ruth floating in a pool.

    mg (8cbc69)

  28. In the bad life choices department

    Want the pizza connection about Afghan heroin?

    narciso (d1f714)

  29. It’s about drug resistance.

    You have to switch between hybrids with marijuana as well but no one ever died from pot.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  30. Schoomer Shutdown

    I like it but the credit is all Rumpublican.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  31. I think there are now different compounds coming out of China, and they change them every six months or so. It takes that long for a slightly different fentanyl related compound to be put on the prohibited list.

    The opium poppy is no longer the starting point for many of the opiates on the street. The new compounds, often sold mixed with heroin, originate in illicit labs in China. “For the cartels, why wait for a field of poppies to grow and harvest if you can get your hands on the precursor chemicals and cook a batch of fentanyl in a lab?” says Tim Reagan, resident agent in charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) Cincinnati office.

    DEA classified fentanyl as a schedule II drug decades ago, which makes it a felony to sell or use the opiate without a prescription. But in China, until recently, fentanyl was largely unregulated. In late 2015, the drug agency persuaded its Chinese counterpart to add 116 synthetic drugs to its list of controlled substances; fentanyl and several analogs were included. In response, underground Chinese labs began tweaking the fentanyl molecule, which is easy to alter for anyone with basic knowledge of chemistry and lab tools. By adding chemical groups, unscrupulous chemists have created new, unregulated variants, some of them even more potent than the original.

    The interdiction of heroin tends to favor the use of the more concentrated fentanyls. They may have different levels of potency and in any case an addict doesn’t know what he is getting nor may he realize what is tolerance is now. Especially if he has been off drugs for some time, like if he just got out of jail or rehab.

    They’re making the problem worse, and more deadly.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

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