Sometimes, there is a lasting good when someone passes.
Heath Ledger entertained and enlightened me. Mostly he enlightened.
As we near the end of this year, we often think about the rich and famous who have enlightened or entertained us. I am thinking about Heath Ledger and Tim Russert: both enlightened me much more than they entertained.
And both have a lasting legacy in my mind….
Cocaine is a “party drug” right? You want it after you’ve been thinking and drinking.
But that is really bad thinking.
Heath Ledger’s legacy is not “Brokeback Mountain” or “The Patriot” or family and children and happy memories.
Sadly, Actor Heath Ledger died from an accidental overdose of six drugs — painkillers and sedatives. “Mr. Heath Ledger died as the result of acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylaminediazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine,” said the medical examiner’s spokeswoman.
This sent me on a months long journey to discover the impact of mixing so many dangerous drugs.
The results were frightening but probably completely predictable: most medical doctors say the risk of mixing so many dangerous drugs if frightening to the extreme. Even mixing a few can be and often is deadly.
“If you come in on alprazolam (Xanax) I know what to do. If you come in using Xanax and alcohol and Ambien you have created a very difficult dilemma for me. How much, when, what have you eaten? If you come in with various types of drugs in you; you create, sometimes, a gordian knot the physician is ill euipped to deal with.”
That’s a quote from one of many M.D.s we interviewed. All had experience dealing with people who had ingested several drugs over time.
“There is just no good outcome to mixing drugs. Your friend Heath Ledger is the epitome of that,” said a doctor to me.
A friend of mine, already addicted to alcohol and cocaine, was recently hospitalized. While there, a doctor prescribed oxycodone and hydrocodone. We moved him to another facility after consulting other medical professionals.
And treatment, once one is hooked, will be frightening, prolonged and painful.
“If you can just get me to rehab I’ll be O.K.”
We’ve heard that time and again. Rehab is not nirvana — the state of being free from suffering. Rehab is often just a way-station.
Getting clean and sober takes time, effort, commitment and sometimes, a lot of money.
But it is worth it. If one achieves lasting recovery.
The alternative is death while you are still young. You’ll miss the party completely.
Lots of Hollywood types and entertainers have been dealing with drugs. This should put us all on notice that drugs and alcohol are life threatening. Just this year we’ve seen Amy Winehouse, Britney Spears, Ryan O’Neil and many others in trouble with drugs.
So we write this as a caution as we all prepare to “celebrate” Christmas and New Years. Don’t mix drugs during the holidays: or at any other time.
Dangerous drug combos pose risk for elderly
Substance Abuse In America: Treatment Rarely A “Cure”
Lasting Legacy: Tim Russert Made Me Think
Video at CNN:
John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
There is a huge likelihood that a teenager you know shares these following things with Heath Ledger and Britney Spears: Vicodin, Oxycontin and Xanax and the belief that since doctors prescribed these they are OK to use.
But what few grasp is this: doctors are not saints. Several told us that they prescribe drugs quickly so they can get to the next patient faster.
Add to this people who mix drugs, take more than is prescribed, mix drugs with alcohol, mix drugs without the primary care physician’s knowdge and “doctor shop.”
You end up with addiction, other illnesses and death.
Sadly, Heath Ledger’s Dad knows this too well.
“While no medications were taken in excess, we learned today the combination of doctor-prescribed drugs proved lethal for our boy,” he said.
Intervention is that course of action that stops an abuser or an addict dead in their tracks — before death knoks on their door.
If you know someone who needs care due to drug (including alcohol) addiction or abuse: take action. Show your love by causing an intervention.
You’ll regret looking the other way for the rest of your life.
Drug Abuse, Drug Overdose Killed Heath Ledger
Drug Abuse Usually Starts At Home
Singer Amy Winehouse: Court Ordered Rehab
Nationwide Imminent Danger Alert – Super Bowl Weekend Dangers
Heath Ledger, President Bush, The Addicted and Our Medical Professionals
Addicts Neglected, Over-Medicated Despite Vast System of “Care”