A Short Note on Heath

The toxicology result for Heath Ledger’s death was released today and I have to admit some surprise with the results. Although no less than six different compounds were detected in his system, they are generally not regarded as dangerous drugs if, as the statement was made, they weren’t taken in excessive amounts and by an otherwise healthy individual. Oxycodone and hydrocodone are two potent forms of codeine and will interact with the three benzodiazepines he also took – diazepam, temazepam and alprazolam – to cause cardiac and respiratory depression. In other words, his heart rate became too slow and weak and his respirations too slow and shallow to supply his heart and brain with enough blood and oxygen. The doxylamine is similar, in Australia usually being found as a component in mersyndol, but not in very high doses. Tragic.

The term ‘accidental overdose’ is clearly being used in this case to indicate he took the drugs with no intention of suicide. But such a combination of related pharmaceuticals taken all together certainly qualifies as overdose and substance abuse. No way I’m going to pass judgements on that; what guts me the most is that he had a two year old daughter and I wonder if  had she been there would he still have resorted to the pills for comfort? From my own experience, it would take a helluva lot to separate me from my little boy and as much as I protect him, he protects me. He was sick last night, went to bed with a slight fever. I checked on him a couple of hours later and found him whimpering and shaking with a very high temperature. Thankfully a little nurofen and a sleep between mummy and daddy sees him bright eyed and bushy tailed again this morning. For me and my wife, he’s the most important thing in the world. I could never be Heath, living alone, half a world away.

Blood is thicker than pills.

Rest in Peace, Heath.

Posted in Temp. 8 Comments »

8 Responses to “A Short Note on Heath”

  1. tizona Says:


    You’re a damn good man, but as you know, behind every damn good man is a damn fine woman…:).

    Hope the little d, (or would it be more correct as, Dminor-minor?) is in good shape.

  2. Dminor Says:

    Thanks, Tizona. Aminor seems fine this morning, which is a double bonus as we’re off on a short holiday later today. As for that fine woman, Amajor, who rules guides us both with an iron fist love and care, without her I’d surely be a hopeless, atonal, mess. Probably like one of those pianos where they replace the strings with pegs and bits of tin.

  3. Rebecca H Says:

    Re Heath, I suspect an underlying mental illness that he was self-medicating. And sometimes these kinds of mental illness are precipitated by early drug use. I don’t think he meant to kill himself either, but I think he was at the point where he didn’t really care if he did. It’s tragic, indeed.

  4. tizona Says:

    LMAO Dminor…

    Enjoy the holiday..Have a safe one.

    OH. I know of the rules and an iron fist you speak of…:).

  5. Dminor Says:


    You could be right. I remember a line from one of Stephen King’s books, roughly: “It was at some point when Eddie was crossing over from the Land of Recreational Drug Use to the Kingdom of Really Bad Habits.” It’s a good bet Heath was in the Kingdom of Really Bad Habits, in which case he wouldn’t be taking drugs simply to enhance an otherwise wonderful existence. He had the fame and the fortune, but he didn’t have his little girl.

    People need to think before having kids and once they have them, live up to the responsibility. Truly dysfunctional relationships may be better off ending in divorce, but it just looks like many people are far too casual about it. How about a bit of commitment, a bit of work to keep the relationship going? Who knows, you might even learn something about yourself in the process.

  6. Angus Dei Says:

    Take it from someone who has been around artists aaaaaall his life… and is one: I’ve seen plenty of friends O.D. over the years, and exactly zero of them were intending to kill themselves. As I mentioned before, aside from IQ there is also the factor of EQ – emotional quotient – to a person. Artists generally have a lot higher EQ’s than normal (But not necessarily IQ’s, which is why abjectly stupid pieces of shit like Sean Penn can be “brilliant” actors… and morons in every other regard).

    Every emotional event is illuminated and amplified to people like Ledger (me too), and telling them to “get over it” or “move on” is exactly the wrong approach. Telling them that, “it’s all in your head” is the proper beginning – because it’s brutally true 99.9% of the time – but actually helping them work through the issue is the follow-through. The ultimate cure, however, is teaching them how to, 1) recognize their own preposterously overblown emotional reactions when they occur and, 2) work through these things constructively on their own!

    Some of us figure it out for ourselves, and are lucky to have lived long enough for that to happen. Ledger didn’t make it.

  7. kaez Says:

    Heath Ledger is dead.
    He was abusing prescription drugs.
    A doctor or doctors prescribed these drugs for him.
    Usually a doctor will advise against taking drugs in combination, and not prescribe drugs which will not mix.

    Who was his doctor?

    An Aus doctor interviewed all but said that the cocktail of drugs he had was very dangerous, they should not have been mixed.

  8. kaez Says:

    And the media should leave his family alone.

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