An initial toxicology report found that Buddhist teacher Michael Stone had opioids, including fentanyl, in his system when he died last week, according to a statement released by his family late Thursday.
Stone’s family also said the meditation teacher, psychotherapist, and yogi had bipolar disorder, “feared the stigma of his diagnosis,” and was on the cusp of revealing publicly how shaped he was by the disease.
Earlier coverage: Buddhist Teacher Michael Stone Removed from Life Support
On July 13, Stone traveled to Victoria, British Columbia, from his family home in Gulf Island. After running errands, exercising, and getting a haircut, he “acquired a street drug,” according to his family.
Stone was found unresponsive and without brain function after his wife, Carina, issued a missing person’s search with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. He was declared brain dead the following day and kept on life support until July 16 so that he could donate his organs.
Last year, fentanyl overdoses increased by 80 percent in British Columbia, with 922 deaths in the Canadian province alone. Fentanyl is said to be 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Most overdoses in the United States are from illegally manufactured fentanyl “sold through illegal drug markets for its heroin-like effect,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Opioid overdose deaths are significantly rising in the United States as well.
You can read the full statement from Stone’s family below. An online fundraiser has been launched to support Stone’s wife and children.