Tom Petty’s Cause of Death Revealed to Be Accidental Pain Medication Overdose
The rock community suffered a devastating loss in October with the passing of Tom Petty. Prior to his death, it had been reported that the musician was put on life support after being found unresponsive and in full cardiac arrest. Now, the Petty family has released a lengthy statement concerning the rocker's death, revealing that an accidental overdose was the cause.
In the statement, which was released on Tom Petty's website, the family explained that they learned of the cause of death yesterday morning (Jan. 19), attributing it to a "variety of medications." Petty is said to have "suffered from many serious ailments including emphysema, knee problems and most significantly a fractured hip," the latter of which became worse as he maintained his commitment to a 53-date tour. On the day of his death, the fracture "had graduated to a full on break" leading the family to feel "the pain was simply unbelievable and was the cause for his over use of medication" which included Fentanyl patches among other medications.
Read the full statement below where the Petty family also addresses the topic of the opioid crisis currently affecting the lives of many who begin taking medication to combat pain from injury.
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.
Unfortunately Tom’s body suffered from many serious ailments including emphysema, knee problems and most significantly a fractured hip.
Despite this painful injury he insisted on keeping his commitment to his fans and he toured for 53 dates with a fractured hip and, as he did, it worsened to a more serious injury.
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.
We knew before the report was shared with us that he was prescribed various pain medications for a multitude of issues including Fentanyl patches and we feel confident that this was, as the coroner found, an unfortunate accident.
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.
On a positive note we now know for certain he went painlessly and beautifully exhausted after doing what he loved the most, for one last time, performing live with his unmatchable rock band for his loyal fans on the biggest tour of his 40 plus year career. He was extremely proud of that achievement in the days before he passed.
We continue to mourn with you and marvel at Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' incredible positive impact on music and the world. And we thank you all for your love and support over the last months.
Thank you also for respecting the memory of a man who was truly great during his time on this planet both publicly and privately.
We would be grateful if you could respect the privacy of the entire Heartbreaker family during this difficult time.
Dana Petty and Adria Petty
We wish the Petty family well along with all of the rocker's friends and bandmates as they continue to cope with this loss.
Rockers We Lost in 2017