Chemicals and Drugs | Medicine and Health | Mental and Social Health
When a star dies from an overdose, there's a tendency to write it off as "drug abuse." That amazing combination of drugs in Heath Ledger's body, for instance -- what was he thinking? Blame the celebrity, chalk it up to reckless living, a self-destructive lifestyle, a pursuit of pleasure through recreational drugs. But the drugs that killed Ledger -- three types of benzodiazepines, an antihistamine, two pain relievers -- are all substances people take for sleep.
© 2008 Gayle Greene
Greene, Gayle. “Snooze Alarm: What the deaths of celebrities can teach us about the dangers of insomnia,” Opinion, Los Angeles Times, March 30, 2008.