On January 28, 2008, Heath Ledger was found unconscious in his bed in his Manhattan home by his housekeeper and pronounced dead shortly after paramedics arrived. An autopsy report concluded that his death was an accident, the result of "acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine." While these are prescription drugs, not recreational ones, that are often used to treat anxiety, pain, and insomnia, it was mixing these drugs together that caused the fatal incident.
In a recent interview for news.com.au, Heath Ledger's father, Kim Ledger, revealed that his sister, Kate, had warned her brother not to mix these drugs the night before his death:
The last conversation Kate had with him was this discussion about his medications and she warned him, "You can't mix drugs that you don't know anything about." He said "Katie, Katie, I'll be fine." Well, that's a cavalier boy's answer. It just put his whole system to sleep I guess... it was a one-off thing... but most of Heath's problems were self-induced. There is pressure on everybody, especially young people, to perform and to keep going. He was a young guy that travelled all the time for work. Even as a two-year-old, he hardly ever slept. He was trying to work and travel and do everything in a short space of time.
Eight years after his son's death, Kim is trying to spread awareness about the toxic effects of this lifestyle.
"We encourage people to start verbalising their problems with close friends or families or other relatives... Heath mixed a couple of drugs together with sleeping tablets and he's gone forever. That's something we (himself, wife Sally and sister Kate) just have to deal with... losing a child is something that never leaves you. You can live with the pain, but it never leaves you."
From: Esquire US