Any One of Us in Heath Ledger’s Shoes

Heath’s toxicology:

Mr. Heath Ledger died as the result of acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine. We have concluded that the manner of death is accident, resulting from the abuse of prescription medications.”

The NYPD found five different medications in Ledger’s apartment after his death, including anti-anxiety medications Alprazolam (Xanax), Diazepam (Valium) and Lorazepam (Ativan). The sleeping medication Zopiclone (Lunesta) and the sedative Temazepam (Restoril) — which is used by people with “debilitating insomnia” — were also found.

The latest from Heath Ledger’s parents:

“While no medications were taken in excess, we learned today the combination of doctor-prescribed drugs proved lethal for our boy. Heath’s accidental death serves as a caution to the hidden dangers of combining prescription medication, even at low dosage.”

Many of us have been there, closer to the edge than even we knew. It might not take much: an additional milligram or five, of this or that, prescription or over the counter, up or down, plus that glass of wine, and we’re done. Be careful. Our parents don’t want this experience.

2 Responses to “Any One of Us in Heath Ledger’s Shoes”

  1. 1 Felix
    Thursday, February 7, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    i am sorry for his death, but who is the doctor that prescribe all the medications for him?

  2. 2 Jonathan
    Thursday, February 7, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    Just because the medications were prescribed by a doctor, does not make the doctor culpable. 5 drugs. That’s it. Who doesn’t have 5 medications in their house? Many people even have these 5 medications. They are mighty common.

    I would bet that in most people’s homes, there are enough medications knocking around that could cause anybody to take a trip to the dark side.

    He might have gotten Xanax one month, gone back to the doctor another month because the xanax wasn’t working, and gotten a prescription for Valium.
    You can’t expect the doctor to ask him to bring in the xanax before he gives him a prescription.
    A patient has some responsibility.
    I’m not ripping on Heath. My respect for the guy is huge. It just seems a bit premature to start pointing fingers at the doctor.

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