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Learning from Ledger

Filed Under: Sexual Health at 4:44 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
Heath LedgerI read the news of Heath Ledger’s death in late January with some shock.  This was an actor who had consumed hours of my teenage years. He had replaced JTT, Devon Sawa and even Leonardo DiCaprio on my list of heartthrobs. He was a mere five years older than me, making him a more reasonable object of lust than, say, Viggo Mortensen, and he was actually talented, a legitimate actor with true skill and potential. But what was most shocking was that he had never headlined a tabloid for drug abuse, miscreant behavior or dangerous habits. He did not rank among Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie or Britney Spears. His death had been unforeseen, which is partially why it was tragic. The other part stems from how it occurred.

Ledger accidentally overdosed but not on illegal drugs.  He took a combination of prescription medications that consisted of two sleep aids, two anti-anxiety medications and two painkillers. The mixture slowed his central nervous system down so much that his heart simply stopped beating and his lungs stopped breathing. He ended his life with medications that alone were safe but together are fatal, and the same could happen to you or someone you know if you aren’t careful.

Prescription medication abuse and misuse are extremely common today. Individuals consistently make decisions about dosage, need and combination without consulting their doctor. It is assumed that since they are prescribed by an MD, they are safer than illegal drugs, such as cocaine or heroin, and can’t result in the same negative consequences. But obviously, they can.

You cannot make decisions about any type of drug without consulting your doctor. Do not leave old medications in your cabinet, simply because there are a few pills left in the bottle. They aren’t safe to take the next time you have similar symptoms. Do not neglect to inform your doctor of the varying medications you are already taking, particularly if a different MD prescribed them and do not dismiss possible complications. Drugs are potent substances that need to be regarded as such. You need to be safe, smart and aware to remain alive.

One Response to “Learning from Ledger”

  1. Jae Polyak says:

    I loved TMZs coverage of Lindsay Lohan in court yesterday. She was a blubbering idiot. I kinda felt sad for her.

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