Having a hard time catching those zzz’s at bedtime? Counting sheep doesn’t work? What about rats? It’s the Year of the Rat anyway.
Still can’t sleep like a baby? You may have a problem, but whatever it is, don’t play doc and try to take meds on your own, even if the meds are over-the-counter drugs.
Of course you don’t want to become an Anna Nicole Smith, or a Heath Ledger, do you?
Those two big-time celebs were victims of drug overdose.
Smith, a top American model, died on Feb. 8, 2007 after taking an assortment of drugs, including Methadone for pain relief; Robaxin, muscle relaxer; Dalmane, sleeping pill; Cipro for infection; Topamax for seizures and migraines; Paxil for sedating anti-depressant; Valiumm muscle relaxer for anxiety; Dilaudid for pain relief; and Morphine, more potent pain relief.
On the other hand, Ledger died of an accidental overdose of painkillers, sleeping pills, anti-anxiety medication and other prescription drugs, according to the New York City medical examiner on Wednesday, Feb. 6.
The cause of his death was “acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine.”
Police had said they found six types of prescription drugs, including sleeping pills and anti-anxiety medication, in Ledger’s apartment.
Oxycodone is a painkiller marketed as OxyContin and used in other painkillers such as Percodan and Percocet; hydrocodone is used in a number of painkillers, including Vicodin.
Diazepam and alprazolam are the generic names for the anti-anxiety drugs Valium and Xanax, and the other two drugs are sleep aids commonly sold under the brands Restoril and Unisom.
The finding came two weeks after the 28-year-old Australian-born actor was found dead in the bed of his rented SoHo apartment.
In a statement released through Ledger’s publicist, the actor’s father, Kim, said Wednesday: “While no medications were taken in excess, we learned today the combination of doctor-prescribed drugs proved lethal for our boy. Heath’s accidental death serves as a caution to the hidden dangers of combining prescription medication, even at low dosage.”
Ledger’s body was discovered by his masseuse last Jan. 22 after she arrived for an appointment that afternoon.
Ledger, nominated for an Oscar for his role in “Brokeback Mountain,” had returned to New York from London, where he had been filming a $30 million Terry Gilliam film, “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” days before his death. He said in a November interview that his roles in the Batman movie “The Dark Knight” (where he played the role of the megalomaniac “Joker”) and the Bob Dylan biopic “I’m Not There” had taken a toll.
“Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night,” Ledger told The New York Times. “I couldn’t stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going.” He said he had taken two Ambien pills, which only gave him an hour of sleep.
Poor, poor Heath. If only he had known how to meditate, how to shut off his mind from all the worries all around him, how to control his mind and not allow his over-active mind to control him … there would have been a sequel to “Brokeback Mountain.”
As it was, all those drugs broke a mountain of a man.
Heath Ledger as the character Ennis Del Mar in the movie “Brokeback Mountain.” (AP)