It has been more than eight years since Heath Ledger was found dead in his New York apartment, but the scar of his untimely death still runs deep.
An autopsy would reveal a lethal combination of oxycodone, diazepam, hydrocodone and doxylamine – prescription medications – in the 28-year-old’s body; a mistake that yielded the most tragic consequence.
“It was totally his fault,” the father Heath left behind, Kim, told the Daily Mail yesterday. “It was no one else’s – he reached for them. He put them in his system. You can’t blame anyone else in that situation.”
It's a painful yet unavoidable admission from the 66-year-old Perth businessman.
"That's hard to accept because I loved him so much and was so proud of him."
The Ledger family long feared Heath's laissez-faire attitude towards mixing sleeping pills with pain medication was a dangerous one. Heartbreakingly, they were right.
"His sister was on the phone to him the night before telling him not to take the prescription medications with the sleeping tablets.
"He said: 'Katie, Katie, I'm fine. I know what I'm doing.' He would have had no idea."
It's believed over a quarter of Australians take painkillers at least once a month - and many are at risk of developing a reliance and addiction.