Prince’s Doctor Reportedly Overprescribed Pills to Guns N’ Roses Drummer
The drummer’s mother revealed the overprescribing claims in a new memoir. Dr. Howard Kornfeld isn’t off the hook yet. The addiction specialist who was scheduled to meet with music icon Prince the day after his untimely passing, has been named as the same doctor who prescribed dozens of pills to Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Adler around the late 1990s.
The drummer’s mother, Deanna Adler, made the revelation in her new memoir Sweet Child of Mine. Adler, who was kicked out of the band in 1990 due to his addiction to heroin, was recovering from a 1995 DUI at the time he consulted with Kornfeld.
After going through detox, Kornfeld wrote Adler dozens of prescriptions at a time including Prozac, Valium, Antabuse, and lithium, his mother recalled. In her book she lists 63 prescriptions Adler received from the doctor in just one month. The first pharmacy bill she received exceeded $2,000, she said. Stunned by the numerous prescriptions, Deanna did her research and filed a complaint with the American Medical Association and the California Board of Pharmacology, but Kornfeld was deemed innocent.
“I could not fathom, and they never answered to my satisfaction, why they needed to have two different types of psychotics, or three different sleeping-aid medications or five different types of painkillers,” she wrote. “Even I know you shouldn’t mix Darvocet, Percodan and Tylenol with codeine.”
After three months of seeing Dr. Kornfeld, Adler relapsed. But the 52-year-old rocker has since committed to sobriety and occasionally reunites with Guns N’ Roses to perform. “I am so blessed that my son is still alive,” Deanna Adler told the New York Post this month. The doctor’s name came to light again in April 2016, when news broke of Prince’s death. Accidental fentanyl overdose was confirmed as the official cause of death. This time, Kornfeld never had the chance to see Prince in the first place.
Less than a week after Prince’s plane made an emergency landing due to a suspected overdose, an appointment was scheduled, but Kornfeld, unable to clear his schedule for an earlier appointment, sent his son Andrew in his stead. “The plan was to quickly evaluate his health and devise a treatment plan,” said Kornfeld’s attorney William Mauzy last year. “The doctor was planning on a lifesaving mission.” Andrew would meet with Prince, then bring him to Rehab Without Walls, Kornfeld’s clinic in Marin County, California.
But it was already too late. Andrew Kornfeld found the musician dead at home on April 21, just one day before he planned to meet with the doctor. So far, there hasn’t been much talk framing Kornfeld as Prince’s own Dr. Feelgood, and it’s been established that there were no signs of suicide or foul play. But with Deanna Adler’s account of the doctor’s history of over prescribing prescription drugs, he’s bound to come under greater scrutiny.