In this episode of the Addicted podcast, Ash talks with Kim Ledger, the father of renowned Australian actor, Heath Ledger. Kim shares his family’s grief at the death of their beloved son to an accidental overdose in 2008, his personal pain and work with Scriptwise to spare other families that same fate.
For people who find themselves with illness, pain or injury and who, like Heath, are emotionally and physically exhausted, medication provides relief. It is an escape from the affliction. A pause, if you like. A chance to rest. Few people realise the dangers of combining these drugs with other medications and alcohol. There’s an illusion that prescription medications are safer than other substances of addiction. Kim Ledger’s message is that they aren’t.
When faced with pain or illness, every human is wired to want to escape that pain, to numb that pain. Prescription medications provide a pathway to numbing, even if temporary. They are a blessing for those in serious pain, but the truth is that some medications are very dangerous in combination with other drugs and alcohol. For at least three Australians each day, a desire to numb leads to accidental death or serious dependence.
There is so much said in this podcast about grief - the immeasurable pain, the uncontrollability, the fear of not knowing what to say to the person gripped by loss, and the things that blindside us in moments of unimaginable sadness. Kim’s story is everything that the family of an addict fears.... the powerlessness, the hopelessness and the nightmare. It’s the inability to change a situation, while all the while living with the constant fear of catastrophe. This is a powerful episode and an important conversation.