If I could only impart one lesson about reducing overdose risk, also includes benzodiazepine-like drugs such as Ambien and Sonata as well.
Failing to take tolerance into account can be deadly, however: a large percentage of overdoses occur amongst recently detoxed addicts.
About 75% of all overdose deaths involve drug combinations: the most deadly combinations seem to involve opioids plus other depressants. According to the federal Drug Abuse Warning Network, more overdose deaths are caused by opioid mixtures than by any other single drug or combination of drugs.
His case may also be an example of the second key fact I'd love to impart in sane risk-reduction education: if you have been addicted, and then quit, the dose you can tolerate after detox is far lower than the dose you could tolerate before.
Obviously, we'd prefer no one to ever overdose and no one to ever relapse: but since relapse is a frequent occurrence in addiction, I'm sure everyone who knew and loved Heath Ledger--and all of his fans--would prefer that he had known these facts, if, indeed, his death was not a deliberate suicide.
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Mixing drugs across these categories is the riskiest type of drug use there is, especially if some of them are injected.