Doctor Defends His Methods and Use of Drugs After It Was Revealed He Was Hired to Treat Prince for Addiction Days Before Death
Dr. Howard Kornfeld, the medical director of Recovery Without Walls outpatient addiction clinic, arranged for his son Andrew Kornfeld to discuss treatment options for an addiction to prescription painkillers with Prince at Paisley Park on April 21, the day of the singer’s death.
The Kornfeld family attorney William Mauzy said during a Wednesday press conference that Andrew was at Prince’s home when the singer was discovered unconscious, and revealed that he had a small dosage of drug Suboxone on his person at the time. Mauzy first told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that Andrew, who is a pre-medical student that works with Recovery Without Walls, never intended to administer the drug to Prince, and was simply transporting it to a Minnesota physician.
“Recovery Without Walls is [an] individualized, outpatient clinic that provides treatment for chronic pain, chemical dependency, and prescription medication management issues, as well as problems with alcohol,” the organization wrote on Facebook, Wednesday, addressing the Kornfeld’s involvement. “Founded and directed by Dr. Howard Kornfeld, the practice is based in Mill Valley, California. We view our work at Recovery Without Walls to be particularly relevant due to the current opiate crisis in the United States.”
The statement said that Dr. Kornfeld is a “nationally recognized expert in the use of buprenorphine,” which is an ingredient in Suboxone, the drug Andrew was carrying. Recovery Without Walls explained that buprenorphine is used for opiate detoxification, maintenance therapy and pain management.
“When acute detoxification treatment is required, we arrange 24-hour nursing care, supervised by Dr. Kornfeld,” Recovery Without Walls said. “Treating addiction and pain with medication is only one component of an integrated program, which can also consist of psychotherapy and lifestyle changes.”
Kornfeld, who serves as a Fellow of the American Society of Addiction medicine, will speak further on his program at the American Pain Society 35th Annual Scientific Meeting in Austin, Texas, next Friday, May 13, alongside two other doctors.
The talk, “Using Buprenorphine to Mitigate the Major Hazards of Traditional Opioids,” will address medication-assisted treatment, according to Recovery Without Walls’ statement.
“We are grateful to participate in this meaningful dialogue,” the statement said.
Mauzy said that Kornfeld was contacted by Prince’s representatives on April 20. He was unable to immediately travel to Minneapolis, and sent Andrew in his stead.
Andrew arrived at Paisley Park at 9:30 a.m. on April 21, Mauzy said, and was present when Prince’s staff found the musician unconscious. He called 911.
Andrew turned over the Suboxone to the Carver County Sheriff’s office, and, after an interview, was released. His attorney said that Andrew shouldn’t face legal action because Minnesota law says that any person who seeks medical assistance for someone who is overdosing on drugs may not be prosecuted for possession or sharing of controlled substances, in certain cases, according to the Associated Press.