Thursday, February 07, 2008

Heath Ledger

Funny how this is seen as an "overdose," when lots of people are similiarly overmedicataed. This is not James Dean or Sid & Nancy, this is just following doctor's orders! I know a lot of people on a similar cocktail of drugs, and they just accrue naturally. A friend went to get his physical, mentioned to the doc he was feeling a little the doc put him on Zoloft. The Zoloft messed up his sleep, so the doc suggested a sleeping pill...the Zoloft also made his libido dry up so the doc suggested Viagra...the guy was having headaches so the doc said to take tons of ibuprophen...then the guy was kind of depressed and anxious about his sex life, so the doc might have prescribed Xanax...but the guy said enough was enough and stopped it all. But he sounded like a perfectly reasonable person who could have pulled a "Heath Ledger." The guy even stopped the ibuprophen because he realized it was chewing up his stomach (for which the physician could prescribe yet another medicine).

From the AP:

NEW YORK - Heath Ledger died of an accidental overdose of prescription drugs that included painkillers, sleeping pills and anti-anxiety medication, the New York City medical examiner said Wednesday.

Mr. Heath Ledger died as the result of acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine," medical examiner's spokeswoman Ellen Borakove said in a statement.

The drugs are the generic names for the OxyContin painkiller, the anti-anxiety drug Valium, Xanax, an anti-anxiety drug, and the sleep aids Restoril and Unisom. Hydrocodone is another name for ibuprofen.


kat42 said...

I am so mad about Heath Ledger's death, I have probably have steam coming out of my ears. How can these doctors prescribe all this junk like they do? I'm not talking about one powerful prescription. I'm talking about the amount of pills that Heath had access to. I thought maybe he could get them because of who he was or because of the amount of money he had. I guess from reading the above comments about people who aren't even famous, I was wrong. How many people have to make a mistake and overdose before some of these quacks are held laible??????? I don't know a lot about drugs, so maybe I'm ignorant and while I know I should handle any and all prescriptions responsibly and I do, I would still be shocked to think that some doctor would put me in harms way by trying to overmedicate me. Aren't there laws for this? Am I stupid? I just hope that after Heath is buried that his family questions the quack that made all of this available at one time. Heath was obviously not trying to kill himself, so he must have trusted the doctor that wrote these presciptions. When will this stop????????

thumbelina marginalia said...

I agree wholeheartedly that people are overmedicated and that it is unhealthy, but I don't think we can blame Heath Ledger's death on this.
His abuse of illegal drugs has been well documented, and even the prescription drugs he was on were mostly likely abused in volume.
Not to downplay your important point about prescription meds, but there is a personal responsibility here too. These drugs do come with warnings, and I suspect were taken in excess, which led to his tragic death.

Anonymous said...

While I think you're right about the drug cocktail society in which we live, I'd just like to correct one small misconception: hydrocodone is not another name for ibuprofen. Hydrocodone is a powerful narcotic painkiller. Both Vicodin and Lortab have hydrocodone as their primary narcotic active ingredient.

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