New York’s medical examiner report was predictably dry and succinct and non-judgmental, but the implication is that Heath Ledger didn’t care to calculate or remember which prescription drugs he’d taken, much less assess their combined effect upon his body. You can say “accident” over and over but the blunt answer is that Heath did it to himself. Like I wrote the day he died. A tree didn’t fall on him. Actions have consequences.
The pharma-names of the drugs found in his system are “oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine.” The common names are OxyContin, Vicodin, Valium, Xanax, Restoril and Unisom.
Everyone presumably knows that OxyContin — “hillbilly heroin” — isn’t a painkiller as much as a recreational drug that serious stoners take in order to experience a nice opiate-like high. Hydrocodone is found in Vicodin. Diazepam and alprazolam = Valium and Xanax. Alprazolam and doxylamine are sleeping aids commonly known as Restoril and Unisom. In other words, Heath loaded himself down with one heavyweight floater-downer, a fairly heavy-duty pain killer and four relatively mild drugs for alleviating anxiety, settling down, feeling loose and catching zees.
Do you think he said to himself, “Let’s see…I’ve got five or six downer meds in my system. I still don’t feel completely relaxed though. Maybe if I popped another Oxy? I wonder what Mary Kate would say…?”
The report didn’t mention the apparent amounts of each drug that Ledger had in his system. It would help to know this.