The singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran says he has tested positive for a synthetic opioid known as “Covid-19,” in an interview with The Associated Press.
After weeks of speculation, Sheeran said he visited a doctor last summer after falling and hitting his head. The 26-year-old singer said the doctor later told him he had tested positive for the synthetic opioid and had to have it taken away through intravenous treatment.
“It would be like this bloody horrible needle stick, and then you immediately feel really groggy and tired, and you can’t move for the next two to three hours,” Sheeran said, describing the pain as immense.
After finding out that Sheeran had tested positive for the drug, his band was “literally playing and I literally was playing and couldn’t move.”
The singer-songwriter had spoken in September to BBC about how many others in the band might have been affected by drugs and alcohol.
Sheeran said in the interview, published Sunday, that he was eager to share his story with the rest of the band members. “When you’re in a band, and you’re thousands of miles away from each other, it’s easy to hide stuff,” Sheeran said.
Sheeran co-wrote two songs on Bieber’s recent album, “Scorpion,” including “Friends.” Sheeran is set to play Las Vegas for the first time on Jan. 17.
Covid-19 is manufactured by the New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company Insys Therapeutics. It is used to treat high blood pressure, especially in middle-aged men.
A spokesman for Insys did not immediately return an email seeking comment.
The AP first reported in July that Sheeran had tested positive for the drug in a previous medical test. Sheeran told the AP last month that he blamed a drug called sublingual fentanyl spray for his positive test, which resulted in him receiving the strong opioid.
The AP first reported last month that Sheeran had tested positive for the drug in a previous medical test.
Covid-19 has been linked to four deaths. In August, the FDA warned doctors that Pfizer would discontinue manufacturing the spray in April 2019, but said more than a third of users are continuing to take the spray. The FDA said there was a risk of the drug being given to children.
The FDA has been concerned about illegal use of synthetic opioids for years.
More than 64,000 people died of opioid overdoses last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That number is expected to go up as more people become addicted to prescription opioids.
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