The autopsy results came back yesterday. In his system were found oxycodone (Oxycontin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), alprzaolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), temazepam (Restoril) and doxylamine (sleeping pills/cough meds). It was suggested that the cause of death was mixing these dugs, rather than overdose of any one drug.
"We learned today the combination of doctor-prescribed drugs proved lethal for our boy," Mr. Ledger said. "Heath's accidental death serves as a caution to the hidden dangers of combining prescription medication, even at low dosage."
The family is grieving. Death of their child must be hard to bear.
But the idea that he was prescribed a combination of these medications by a doctor and innocently took them, resulting in his death, is nothing short of pure denial.
I did not know Mr. Ledger, I have not seen his movies. By all accounts, he was a dashing young actor.
You would like me to assume that he had chronic severe pain problems, requiring a prescription of both Oxycontin and Vicodin. He also had severe anxiety problems, and some physician gave him Xanax and Valium to be taken together. He was also given Restoril and another sleeping pill (Doxylamine) for insomnia. He obediently took his medications as prescribed, went to bed, and never woke up.
I have no reason to say he was abusing these medications. If anything, this cocktail suggests a serious suicide attempt, which, unfortunately, was successful. The fact remains, though, that all these medications are freely available on the street and have a significant abuse potential. You don't really need a prescription for any of these if you have enough money or 'friends'.
The other day, the TV was on and I accidentally stumbled upon a reality show which follows a famous family around. There are three daughters, I think. They go to parties, get drunk, one of them was arrested, all on TV. At one point, the sisters are having an argument, and one of them says, ' I could totally use, like, a Xanax or something.'
Depression and/or drug abuse are serious problems. Please don't brush them under the carpet.