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Heath Ledger’s father calls for more awareness in wake of rising drug deaths


September 27, 2017 19:21:29

The father of past due actor Heath Ledger says a dramatically expanding price of drug-related deaths in Australia “doesn’t surprise” him and has known as for more training at the attainable risks of prescription medicine.
Drug-related deaths hit the very best level because the 1990s remaining yr, Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) information displays, and the bulk of the ones had been led to by way of prescription medicine.
Kim Ledger, a founding patron of advocacy team Scriptwise who has been elevating awareness of habit since his son’s dying in 2008, mentioned a scarcity of working out of the risks of prescribed drugs was once in the back of a host of deaths.
“The worst thing is that most of the people taking these drugs will not know the downside of mixing medications. And this is what’s creating a number of deaths,” he instructed the ABC.
“Most people have no idea that prescription medication can lead to deaths.”
The vast majority of drug-related deaths in 2016 had been unintended, the ABS mentioned, and had been maximum regularly related to prescription medicines benzodiazepines (anxiousness medicine) or oxycodone (painkiller).

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Drug precipitated deaths, standardised dying charges 1997-2016

‘You can get addicted in an issue of days’
An individual demise from a drug-induced dying in 2016 was once in all probability to be a middle-aged male, dwelling outdoor of a capital town in a rustic house.
“A typical scenario can be the person who has had either an industrial accident or a motorcar accident, and they spent some time in hospital — it could be as little as a torn muscle but could be some sort of tragic injury,” Mr Ledger defined.
“And then during the process of repatriation they’ll be issued up prescription painkiller, and it’s these painkillers that if not wary of them, you can become addicted in a very short space of time — a matter of days in some cases.”

Heath Ledger died in 2008 from a combination of prescribed drugs and snoozing capsules. (Eric Thay: Reuters)

Patients then get “hooked on the highs” that the medication are giving them, after which to find themselves addicted after they go away the clinic.
“They then start mixing — they get whatever they can from a doctor, and if one doctor doesn’t issue what they want, they’ll travel to another doctor and get more of the same or something different,” Mr Ledger mentioned.
Mr Ledger has known as for a real-time tracking device to stop folks physician buying groceries, and mentioned an training program very similar to the anti-smoking Quit marketing campaign may additionally lend a hand.
“It’s an addiction, it’s an illness, and you know there are so many different types of addiction,” he mentioned.
“This one is no different except that you know the consequences of mixing some of these drugs affects people in in a variety of ways and you’re not to know when you’re taking a variety of these drugs whether they are actually going to put you to sleep or not because you have combined them with alcohol or sleeping tablets or something like that so that you can catch people out and it does.”

Video: In July, Kim Ledger spoke to Lateline concerning the occurrence of opioid habit in Australia






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