Tom Petty's Family Publicly Releases Cause of Death to Help Forward Opioid Crisis Discussion

Legendary rocker Tom Petty's cause of death was confirmed to be an accidental drug overdose, according to a new statement from his family. Petty was 66 years old at the time of his death.


“Our family sat together this morning with the medical examiner-coroner’s office and we were informed of their final analysis that Tom Petty passed away due to an accidental drug overdose as a result of taking a variety of medications,” the family's statement read.

Following a pattern familiar to families throughout the country, Petty's overdose coincided with a pain-related medical issue. Fentanyl, a synthetic opiate prescribed for pain, was identified by name in the statement.

“As a family we recognize this report may spark a further discussion on the opioid crisis and we feel that it is a healthy and necessary discussion and we hope in some way this report can save lives. Many people who overdose begin with a legitimate injury or simply do not understand the potency and deadly nature of these medications,” the statement continued.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction to prescription or recreational drugs, inform your health care provider or call the free National Helpline for a referral at 1-800-662-4357.

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