Stop Needless Deaths


When a well-liked celebrity dies, the shock wave that rolls through society may generate a life-saving review of one’s assumptions and priorities. For example, with the death of basketball player Len Bias in 1986, millions of people suddenly became aware of the risk of heart attack from the use of cocaine. With actor Heath Ledger dying in New York with supplies of six prescription medications in his apartment, the best thing that may result is a re-examination of one’s reliance on prescription medications.

The use of prescriptions to put us to sleep, make us more alert, calm panic attacks, make more compliant students, or “take the edge off” daily living have become so commonplace as to seem harmless. What may be forgotten is that each drug is toxic to some slighter or greater degree, and each drug comes with a list of undesirable side effects and risk of overdose. There are no signs of intentional overuse by Mr. Ledger, however the risk of death is just as high from accidental overdoses as it is for those who abuse illicit drugs.

According to CNN, the six prescription medications in Mr. Ledger’s apartment were: Zopiclone, Diazepam, Lormetazepam, Temazepam, Alprazolam and Donormyl. Zopiclone, sold in the U.S. as Lunesta, is used to control insomnia. Diazepam is marketed as Valium and is used as a sedative and to help insomnia. Loremtazepam is sold in the U.K. for treatment of severe insomnia. Temazepam, which may be known to some under the brand name Restoril, is a strong sedative and helps induce sleep. Alprazolam is known by its trade name Xanax and is used for anxiety and panic attacks. Donormyl is a drug made in France that is used for severe insomnia.

Every drug in the list has addictive properties. Some are widely abused in the U.S. and Europe. Side effects from these drugs include agitation, loss of memory, confusion and respiratory depression.

Overuse of prescription drugs, whether accidental or intentional, can result in disaster. In 2006, seven million Americans ages 12 and older were current abusers of prescription drugs.

Source: Narconon News - Volume 8 Issue
February 2008