Tom Petty’s Death Ruled An Accidental Overdose

Rolling Stone reports:

After months of speculation, a medical examiner has ruled that Tom Petty died of an accidental overdose, according to a statement from the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner. The Hall of Fame musician had taken several pain medications, including Fentanyl (including acetylfentanyl and despropionyl fentanyl), oxycodone and generic Xanax. Other medications included generic Restoril (a sleep aid) and generic Celexa (which treats depression).

The coroner’s office listed Petty’s official cause of death as “multisystem organ failure due to resuscitated cardiopulmonary arrest due to mixed drug toxicity,” noting the singer suffered from coronary artery atherosclerosis and emphysema. TMZ reported that he’d been prescribed the drugs to treat emphysema, knee issues and a fractured hip; the coroner’s report also said he had coronary artery disease.

Petty’s hip reportedly became a “full-on break” on the day his death, perhaps prompting him to take more pain meds than he should have.

  • Phillip in L.A.

    Vorpal alert!

    [Edit: You see what that generic alprazolam does! /s]

    • Natty Enquirer

      Restoril is temazepam.

      • Bad Tom

        My dad took that.

        • Natty Enquirer

          It’s what I take — very rarely — for insomnia. Ambien only keeps me asleep for about four hours.

          • Mike_in_the_Tundra

            I have not slept more than 4 hours a night since I was in my early teens. It drives my husband nuts, but I get a lot done.

          • LeeCMH

            Have your tried the ER version of Ambien? I use it with success. It releases about 6 ish mg upon taking, then releasing another 6 ish four hours later.

          • Bad Tom

            I’ve heard such weird stories about Ambien.

            Not that I have any room to talk. According to PubMed, one flirts with polypharmacy after four meds. I’m taking twelve, with a thirteenth when the headaches get too bad. Two different doctors want to add a med each, both with solid, logical reasons.

            That’s so many meds, no drug database can compute the interactions. My only testing lab is my actual body.

            I’m still alive. So, there’s that.
            Count yourself lucky!

      • Phillip in L.A.

        Yes, yes it is.

  • Henry Auvil

    The guy laid down some awesomely beautiful tracks. So sad he got his drugs mixed up.

  • Lazycrockett

    Probably didn’t know it was actually fentanyl. Same thing happened with Prince.

  • Slippy_World

    Still one of my fav good vibe tunes -RIP Tom ,thanks for ALL the good groves

    • anne marie in philly

      I too like this one. tom was (imo) such a cutie!

      my fave is “I won’t back down”; when that song dropped, I was fighting cancer and my marriage was breaking up. I’m still here!

  • LeeCMH

    Oh, no.

    RIP Tom Petty.


    RIP Heath Ledger.

    • Bad Tom

      Yeah, similar shit.
      Heath Ledger way too young.

      • Phillip in L.A.

        The list of musicians who’ve died this way is almost endless–I could think of 10 off the top of my head, and another pops into my head every few seconds. Prince, MJ, there are two more

        • LeeCMH

          Lots and lots of celebrities and musicians have ODed using recreational drugs.

          In Tom’s and Heath’s cases there appears to be true “accidental” overdose.

          They were taking prescriptions from doctors for symptoms the drugs were for. For Tom — pain from a hip break.

        • licuado de platano

          George Michaels? Whitney Houston?

          • Phillip in L.A.

            Oh yes! I didn’t even begin to list them all–that was part of what I was trying to say (obviously, unsuccessfully). I started with Jimi and Janis…. While I was writing, Prince and MJ came to me also, so I wrote those down here

  • Karl Dubhe 2

    Damn, that sucks.

  • BeaverTales

    I knew and loved this man’s music by heart.

    I also know how the combo of fentanyl and oxycodone feels. I had the combo in the ER recently after a horrifyingly painful bout of kidney stones, and it put me to sleep on the uncomfortable stretcher when I had been screaming in pain only an hour earlier…literally screaming.

    I know he died peacefully, and I know he will be missed greatly by many of us. RIP, dear friend.

    • Todd20036

      That stuff is dangerous. DIdn’t Heath Ledger (the Joker) die similarly?

      • BeaverTales

        Yeah, it’s less dangerous if you are surrounded by several doctors and dozens of nurses standing only a stone’s throw away. No pun intended. I was also on oxygen and a heart monitor.

        I hope Tom didn’t get all those meds at home, unsupervised…if so, extremely damgerous… I’m pretty certain that the ER wouldn’t have given him all the additional over-the-counter stuff. If they did, then it’s lawsuit time..

      • LeeCMH

        Nearly the same apparent circumstances. Different doctors, ostensibly, writing prescriptions without knowledge of a patient’s full list of meds.

        And apparently little education for the patient regarding the additive effects of these classes of drugs. Perhaps these folks were told about the risks and ignored them, which underscores why all folks taking these compounds should be careful.

        • JD

          In BC, the Pharmacare system ensures that the entire prescription history is available at any pharmacy or dispensary in the province. You cannot go to different pharmacies and get multiple or contra indicated drugs without the pharmacist knowing. Oh, how heavy the burden of socialism.

      • RemusL

        All of the listed drugs can cause CNS and respiratory depression on their own, given as solo meds, except for Celexa. However, Celexa in combination with any of the others, can increase the risk of CNS & respiratory depression. With all of them in his system at the same time, no wonder he never woke up.

        Heath Ledger was taking prescription narcotic pain meds (oxycodone, hydrocodone), prescription hypnotic/sleep meds (diazepam, alprazolam, temazepam) and over-the-counter sleep meds (doxylamine). I think he might have also suffered from sleep apnea.

        People often don’t realize that even if the primary effect of the drug they’re taking isn’t working (e.g. pain relief, sleep induction), the secondary side effects will still affect them (e.g. respiratory depression) and with each additional drug, the effect is cumulative.

        • Phillip in L.A.

          “even if the primary effect of the drug they’re taking isn’t working (e.g. pain relief, sleep induction), the secondary side effects will still affect them (e.g. respiratory depression) and with each additional drug, the effect is cumulative”

          Of paramount importance!

          • leastyebejudged

            Cumulative and synergistic. Toxicity can and does become much worse than cumulative with the right combination.

        • leastyebejudged

          Another needless death caused by antidepressants is the headline nobody will post.

      • whollyfool

        I still miss Heath Ledger. Phenomenal actor.

  • Austin McHenry

    Also, the heroin. We here in Austin have no illusions. Loved the man anyway.

  • SoCalGal20
  • Macbill

    How tragic. It didn’t have to happen.

  • Blake J Butler

    they haven’t done anything, and trying to pass it off as they’ve been trying to do something about the opioid crisis.

    • Todd20036

      Emergency, not “crisis”

      No money is being spent, even though this addiction disproportionately affects Trump voters.

      • Jim Battrell

        How is that bad?

        • Barry William Teske

          Like many friends had the courage to say to me at low points in my life….Karma bitch.

    • Tomcat

      Of course it is still an emergency situation, trump and congress has done NOTHING at all to help stop it.

    • Tor

      As in, “Ah do declare!”

  • I have seen this far too much. One of my dearest friends died this way.

  • Matt Williams

    The drugs he took are a recipe for OD. Part of the problem with the opioid epidemic is that people don’t know what should never be combined with opioids. Opioid OD is usually pulmonary arrest. Combine opioids with other respiratory depressants, which suppress breathing, and you die. People don’t know that benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, and Restoril) are respiratory depressants. They don’t know alcohol is. FFS Benadryl can cause respiratory depression when combined with opioids. But instead of informing people all we get from the CDC are TV ads about how poor victim white boy became addicted after 3 days and other bullshit.

    • Phillip in L.A.

      polydrug abuse is indicated in 90%+ of these deaths

  • Tomcat

    Right, everything was just for the pain.

    • leastyebejudged

      Ever had a broken hip ?

      In all sincerity, fuck you.

  • Dreaming Vertebrate

    Sad. A real Heartbreaker.

  • Lazycrockett

    I love Richard Painter.

    • Cuberly Deux

      Lol…he’s going off idn’t he…lol…

  • Blake J Butler
  • Cuberly Deux

    It is interesting how the “Stormy” controversy just isn’t getting a lot of ink. Yeah, the shutdown should dominate coverage, but still.

    • Tor

      If only Bill had paid Monica to keep quiet….

      • DaddyRay

        He could have at least paid the dry cleaning bill for the dress

        Too soon?

        • Tor

          That would have prevented a huge mess, so to speak.

          • houstonray

            And would have kept his record from being stained.

          • Richard, another Canuck

            Monika didn’t know what she was doing, sloppy. I would’ve been much more ‘professional’.

          • Tor

            Of course you would have. It takes experience.

  • Cuberly Deux

    Richard Painter: “Yes, we’ve got a pervert in the White House.”

    • Barry William Teske

      That, or as many suspect, someone without a sense of honest human pride.

  • Sam_Handwich

    so should we use the previous post as the shutdown discussion and let Mr Petty RIP?

  • Paula

    Will somebody please prescribe opioids for our fearless leader?

    • DaddyRay

      Or at least for the rest of us so we don’t have to use up all of our liquor

      • Phillip in L.A.

        You’ve gotten two smiles out of me in less than 15 minutes, Daddy Ray! Almost unprecedented

    • HZ81

      Paula, I don’t know what you’re trying to say here as America rulz and all —but I agree. 🙂

    • Cucker “Dick” Tarlson

      Are you there, McDonald’s? It’s me, Cucker?

  • Blake J Butler
    • DaddyRay

      This shutdown wouldn’t last too long – just wait until seniors don’t get their social security checks


        Social security checks and disability checks still go out, which is good, but far too many people are going to be hurt. I hope it also wakes more people up to what’s happening or to finally get those who know but gave been apathetic angry enough to take action.

  • Blake J Butler
    • BobSF_94117

      y a w n

      stupid pandering

    • thatotherjean

      Not a bad idea, but only if the White House minions of the president don’t get paid, either. The president has blown the DACA/CHIP deal at least twice, after a bipartisan bill has been presented to him that he had said he would sign, and didn’t.

  • Sam_Handwich

    joe’s got a new post

  • Robincho

    Sometimes you just hurt too much. And there is stuff that makes it hurt less. So you head toward that stuff. And then you die, and other people start hurting, sometimes too much. And then, and then, and then…

    • Phillip in L.A.

      Wow, Robincho. I think that is perhaps the first serious-ish post I recall your ever posting. Are you feeling ok?!?

      • HZ81

        it’s certainly lovely regardless.

      • Robincho

        Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps in this PETTY pace. Out, out, brief candle…

        There I go, coining phrases again… But I thank you for your perceptivity…

        • Phillip in L.A.

          You’re welcome. Please feel free to talk any time you wish, and *especially* before the ‘brief candle’ goes ‘out, out’ 🦄🌈 💋

        • Phillip in L.A.

          “The Chair she sat in, like a burnished throne,
          Glowed on the marble, where the glass
          Held up by standards wrought with fruited vines
          From which a golden Cupidon peeped out
          (Another hid his eyes behind his wing)
          Doubled the flames of sevenbranched candelabra
          Reflecting light upon the table as
          The glitter of her jewels rose to meet it,
          From satin cases poured in rich profusion;
          In vials of ivory and coloured glass
          Unstoppered, lurked her strange synthetic perfumes,
          Unguent, powdered, or liquid—troubled, confused
          And drowned the sense in odours; stirred by the air
          That freshened from the window, these ascended
          In fattening the prolonged candle-flames,
          Flung their smoke into the laquearia,
          Stirring the pattern on the coffered ceiling.
          Huge sea-wood fed with copper
          Burned green and orange, framed by the coloured stone,
          In which sad light a carvéd dolphin swam.
          Above the antique mantel was displayed
          As though a window gave upon the sylvan scene
          The change of Philomel, by the barbarous king
          So rudely forced; yet there the nightingale
          Filled all the desert with inviolable voice
          And still she cried, and still the world pursues,
          “Jug Jug” to dirty ears.
          And other withered stumps of time
          Were told upon the walls; staring forms
          Leaned out, leaning, hushing the room enclosed.
          Footsteps shuffled on the stair.
          Under the firelight, under the brush, her hair
          Spread out in fiery points
          Glowed into words, then would be savagely still.”

          The Wasteland, by Mr T S Eliot, Part II, “A Game of Chess”

          • Robincho

            Thank you, Phillip. Just thank you… xoxox

    • whollyfool

      Well said. True of pain other than physical as well (to state the obvious).

  • HZ81

    So saddened that it could have been avoided. I don’t mean that in a smug way either, as I have been over that line in the past, and like Tom, didn’t know it.

    I miss him.

  • Rillion

    I got to see him several times when he played at the SF Fillmore for what seemed like a whole month. We lived two blocks away at the time and it was awesome. He was truly a great entertainer. Sad that he is gone. Usually when you hear “OD” you think addict, but the information about his hip being broken casts a different light on it. My BF broke his hip at in his late teens and even years later it still causes him pain. RIP Tom.

  • JCF
  • leastyebejudged

    My heart hurts.

  • fuzzybits

    Man,what a last day on earth. RIP.

  • netxtown

    Only recently have i come to understand how pain can send these folks looking for relief….any relief….even a few minutes of relief.

    Long story short…I ended up receiving three separate doses of contrast dye for three back to back tests (MRI/CT/TTE). there was no coordination between departments…and even less instruction. No one said a damned word about drinking water – tons of water – to flush it out. By the next day, i couldn’t walk. My kidneys were so inflamed there was no escape from the pain. And then it radiated into my lower back. It was all i could do not to run crawl for some pain relief – but I knew anything i took would simply blow up the kidneys even more.

    I have to admit that if i would have had access to relief – it would have been very tempting.

    FWIW – the fuckwits that make the dyes won’t specify how much time between doses. ALL of their drug usage data pages say “allow sufficient time”. What the fuck is that? an hour? a day? month? year?

  • Friday’s_cat

    Why is it Big Pharma like the Industrial Gun Complex can flood the market with way more product than consumers need?

  • Mike Knife

    It seems like a lot of people are being killed by dope being mixed with psych meds these days. The drugs companies and doctors are making a killing.

  • Phillip in L.A.

    Flagged and reported, 20 Jan 2018 1214 hrs PST