I saw this well-put summary of the circumstances surrounding Health Ledger’s death and it’s a view the mainstream media are unlikely to take the time to explore:
“The New York City Chief Medical Examiner’s Office found that Heath Ledger died of an accidental overdose of prescription medications including painkillers (oxycodone, hydrocodone (not available in Australia, but widely abused in the US as Vicodin and other brand names), sleeping pills and antianxiety pills (temazepam, alprazolam, diazepam), and doxylamine, an antihistamine used to treat insomnia, and available over-the-counter.
The New York Times quotes Dr VG THakkar, a psychiatrist at NYU Medical Center as saying “Six different sedative drugs in Heath Ledger’s system show something was amiss. Whether that was in taking combinations of drugs without proper medical guideance or sloppy prescribing, it was an unfortunate situation and with a tragic outcome.”
As many Update list participants would know, combinations of tranquillisers, hypnotic drugs and opioid analgesics account for many accidental drug-related deaths in people using pharmaceutical drugs inappropriately.
Don’t we need a national strategy to address this distinctive and complex problem?”