I'm sharing this because of a letter the family wrote to the media:
As we are not doctors, we have no choice but to accept that two respected pathologists have come to different conclusions about a secondary contributing cause of death.
However, the family would like to address the findings of prescription and non-prescription drugs in Andy’s system. Andy was prescribed Xanax and Zolpidem (Ambien) to treat anxiety and occasional insomnia — a result of a bipolar disorder diagnosed by his family doctor at age 18. This is when Andy first began experiencing episodes of manic highs and depressive lows.
The family believes Andy was in some denial about the severity of his chemical imbalance and tended to blame his mood swings on himself and his own weaknesses, choosing to self-medicate with recreational drugs.As I read that so many things crossed my mind. Was Andy or his family even aware of how dangerous his drug use had become? Were they able to accept it as an addiction? Did he ever try a drug treatment center? Did the family reach out for support? Did he have a good doctor or one that gave him whatever he asked for? Was he using heroin or RX opiates? And on and on.....
Members of his family, close friends, and an industry sponsor intervened over the years to help Andy get clean, but the effort to find balance in his life was certainly complicated by his chemical makeup.
None of this matters now, but with every tragedy I hope someone out there can learn something that may help their loved one. Bottom line, it sounds like Andy didn't want help or didn't think he needed it. We as families can only do so much. I hope his parents are okay, my heart goes out to them. Andy is at peace now. :(
Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara