Recently I went to the theater to watch “The Dark Knight“. I was painfully reminded of the tragic and untimely death of Heath Ledger who played the role of the Joker. His brilliant performance immortalizes him on the screen but the senselessness of his death draws a deep sadness from within. My whole family first knew and admired Heath after we saw “A Knight’s Tale“. That film still remains the favorite of my three year old son who acquired an admiration of horses because of the thrilling joust scenes in the movie. Heath Ledger became a household name for us and that is why I was particularly affected by his passing.
I was then further disturbed upon hearing the news of his death being linked to prescription drugs. I thought to myself, “another life lost at the hands of the pharmaceutical industry”.
Ledger had developed difficulty sleeping as a result of his role as the Joker. The Sydney Morning Herald reported, “Ledger admitted his role as the Joker in the hit film The Dark Knight had made him feel so stressed he was unable to sleep. ‘Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night,’ he said. ‘I couldn’t stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going,’ Ledger said”.
According to an online article of People magazine the New York City’s Chief Medical Examiner concluded that “Mr. Heath Ledger died as the result of acute intoxification by the combined effects of Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Diazepem, Temazepam, Alprazolam, and Doxylamine”.
“Oxycodone is a painkiller, Hydrocodone is also known as Vicodin, Daizepam is commonly called Valium, Temazepam treats anxiety or sleeplessness, Alprazolam is knows as Xanax, and Doxylamine is a sedating antihistamine often used as a sleep aid.”
The article continues, “…the combination of the powerful drugs most likely caused a ‘poly-drug intoxification’ which led to respiratory arrest”.
As Heath Ledger slept his breathing most likely became slower and slower until finally stopping completely.
This didn’t have to happen. Unfortunately, drugs are so prevalent in our society that few people think twice before using them. Television commercials are full of legal drug pushers promising that their product will fix your erectile dysfunction, stop asthma symptoms, get rid of arthritis pain, manage diabetes, make you happy when your depressed, help you get a good night rest, and many other claims. Do you ever pay attention to the fast-spoken disclaimer at the end of the ad? The voice rambles off the long list of side effects and precautions. Many times “death” is listed as a possible side effect, and people actually buy this stuff.
The article in People magazine also adds, “…we are seeing more and more people dying of poly-drug intoxification from prescription drugs”.
Many people think that drugs are the answer to health problems but the fact is that they should only be used as a last resort in severe cases that can’t be fixed by natural means. It is wise to find a doctor that employs nutritional medicine to heal the body and uses drugs only on a limited basis for controlling a disease or disorder while helping the patient become healthy by providing the body with the necessary nutrition and exercises for optimal health. When drugs are no longer beneficial they should be immediately discontinued.
Wholesome foods and nutritional supplements have no side effects but rather they offer side benefits. You may increase wholesome foods in your diet and start exercising to lose weight and as a side benefit your depression may go away or your arthritis may decrease. Often drug therapies result in additional drugs being needed to counter the side effects of the first drug. It is a terrible cycle that ultimately leads to diminished happiness and the feeling of hopelessness.
Give your health and your future a chance. Do all you can to learn how to take control of your health. We all have only one life to live and we are not getting any younger so live life to the fullest, in happiness and health.