As concert season begins, so, for many artists, does the physical pain that can result from dancing around onstage each night after prolonged periods of sitting on the tour bus. One increasingly popular form of relief: fentanyl, the dangerously potent, fast-spreading opioid that medical reports suggest contributed to the deaths of Tom Petty, Prince and Lil Peep in the last two years.
“Touring musicians are at a high risk,” says Dr. David Sack, chief medical officer at rehab center Elements Behavioral Health. “A lot of the musicians that I have spoken with over the years got exposed to fentanyl because they were given it to manage pain — they had to perform, and this gave them good coverage. The problem was, no sooner were the patches available that people were learning to extract the fentanyl from the sponge inside the patch to shoot it up.”
Find more information about how the opioid crisis is affecting musicians here.