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Heath Ledger's Death Ruled Accidental Overdose

Ending weeks of speculation, the New York City medical examiner's office has ruled actor Heath Ledger's death an accidental overdose -- caused by a lethal mix of prescription drugs.

The medical examiner's office said that Ledger died "of acute intoxication" from the combined effects of six prescription drugs, which included pain killers, sleeping pills and anti-anxiety medications (oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine).

"What you're looking at here is the cumulative effects of these medications together," said spokeswoman Ellen Borakove.

The Drug Enforcement Administration is investigating how Ledger got the medications. They say it's common for investigators to review prescriptions when so many drugs are involved in an overdose death.

Ledger's father, Kim, released a brief statement following the news: "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."

February 7, 2008 |

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