The abuse of prescription medicines is becoming more and more common. While Heath Ledger's passing is an awful loss, highlighting the threats and costs of abusing prescription medicine will at least create some good out of something bad. It's worth it if even a single life can be saved by learning about what happened to him. Moreover, I think it services his memory and honors his life by creating awareness. He'll never be forgotten this way.
Teens do not understand the dangers of prescription medications, especially if they mix them with other pills or take them with other drugs or alcohol. It would be beneficial to educate teens about how Heath Ledger died because many of them would know who he was and there would be a personal connection. Teens and young adults have a invincibility issue. They do not believe they could overdose or they believe they know how much to take for them to be ok. None of them realize it just takes one time for something to go wrong.
Yes, the question of how Heath Ledger died is an important one for teen health classes to consider, because he was a popular actor that young people can relate to. Ledger can, through his death, send the message that this can happen to anyone who abuses substances. This is a critical lesson for teens to learn.
I do not believe questioning how Heath Ledger died in a particularly important one for teens to consider in a health class. Many people die from drug overdoses each year, so Ledger is not the only one. I think at some point teens should be given the dark reality of what overdosing is, but Ledger doesn't have to be the example.
Heath Ledger's death was tragic - he was a great actor and he was so young and seemingly joyful - but he is not the most important example of drug abuse in recent history. Still, whatever gets the message through to people is effective by definition, and his death can still be an interesting lesson to engage students.