Heath Ledger’s Father Promotes Prescription Drug Monitoring

Heath Ledger’s Father Promotes Prescription Drug Monitoring

By Victoria Kim 04/01/15

Ledger continues to promote the dangers of abusing prescription drugs while shedding light on the dangers of rampant doctor shopping.

Image: 
Kim Ledger
Kim Ledger (left) with wife, Ines Shutterstock

Kim Ledger, father of the late actor Heath Ledger, voiced his support for real-time prescription drug monitoring systems to detect people shopping around for prescription pills.

Ledger, who is a patron for the nonprofit foundation, ScriptWise, which aims to educate people about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs, said there is currently no such system in Australia. “So you can literally go from one doctor to the next in Australia and build up an armory of pills,” he said on ABC 24 earlier this month. 

Ledger cited the 2013 New York state law that established a central online system for detecting prescription pill abuse, which discovered at least 200 instances of apparent doctor shopping in its first three days of use.

His son, Heath, died of an accidental overdose of prescription medications including painkillers, anti-anxiety drugs and sleeping pills in 2008.

Following his son’s death, Ledger released a statement warning of the dangers of abusing prescription drugs. “Heath’s accidental death serves as a caution to the hidden dangers of combining prescription medication,” he said.

Although almost every state in the U.S. has a prescription drug monitoring program, a recent study by Johns Hopkins researchers found that a huge percentage of doctors do not utilize this tool.

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr

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