Accidental overdose of prescription medication is the official cause of the death of actor Heath Ledger, says the New York City Medical Examiner.
According to a statement from the medical examiner’s office, “Mr. Heath Ledger died as the result of acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam, and doxylamine.”
The medications listed by the office include various painkillers, anti-anxiety drugs and sleeping tablets.
“We have concluded that the manner of death is accident, resulting from the abuse of prescription medications,” said the statement.
In response, Ledgers’ family also released a statement expressing relief that the results will put an end to the speculation over the actor’s death.
“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.
“At this moment we respectfully request the worldwide media allow us time to grieve privately, without the intrusions associated with press and photography,” said the family.
Ledger, star of the groundbreaking gay cowboy movie romance Brokeback Mountain, was found dead in his New York City apartment on 22 January.