In early September, news broke that Pittsburgh-born rapper Mac Miller had been found dead of an apparent drug overdose. He was 26 years old.
Today, the results of his official toxicology report have been released by the L.A. County Coroners Office. The inquiry found Fentanyl, cocaine, and alcohol in Miller’s system at the time of his death, though none in high enough concentrations to kill him on their own. As such, his cause of death has been ruled “mixed drug toxicity,” meaning that it was the combination of the substances in his system that caused the overdose.
This official report is devastating, though sadly not entirely unsurprising in today’s terms. Mac Miller had a history of substance abuse throughout his short life and frequently spoke about his struggles in his music and interviews. Miller is also far from the first artist to meet his end due to an accidental mix of Fentanyl (an insanely strong opioid painkiller) and other substances in recent years. Prince‘s 2016 death was ruled an accidental overdose after an “exceedingly high” levels of Fentanyl was found in his system. Tom Petty‘s accidental overdose last year was also caused by mixed drug toxicity, as his autopsy found Fentanyl, oxycodone, generic Xanax, and other drugs found in his system.
This prescription opioid crisis extends beyond celebrities as well, as the number of people taken by accidental overdoses on Fentanyl and similar opioid analogs like carfentanyl nationwide has continued to rise. As The Bunk Police founder Adam Auctor explained in a recent interview with Live For Live Music,
These substances are being used to adulterate mainstream drugs because it’s incredibly cheap and it’s also very addictive. Whoever is manufacturing these things, be it cartels or some of these larger pill mills out in Eastern Europe, they’re using it because it’s financially beneficial to them. Not only is it highly addictive, but they can also sell a substance that people are going to enjoy for pennies, whereas real cocaine or heroin is going to be exponentially more expensive and less profitable for them.
But fentanyl is showing up in a bunch of weird things, and it’s led to the deaths of some pretty famous people. Prince was an overdose on fentanyl. From what I understand, he had taken hydrocodone, but fentanyl was found in his system. Tom Petty overdosed on several different variations of fentanyl. Lil Peep overdosed on fentanyl that was cut into Xanax. He made a post I think on Instagram right beforehand with one of these Xanax pills in his mouth right before he died because of it.
It’s incredibly saddening to see another talented artist taken too soon in this manner. Be careful out there, and look out for one another. Don’t let yourself or someone you love become another tragic statistic in our nation’s ongoing opioid epidemic.
Rest in peace, Mac.
Mac Miller – “Isn’t She Lovely” [Stevie Wonder cover, Solo Piano]
[Video: Mac Miller]
[H/T Rolling Stone]