Last week, it was revealed that the NYC medical examiner Dr. Charles Hirsch did not believe WTC dust ultimately killed NYPD Detective Charles Zadroga. Zadroga, who worked rescue and recovery in the World Trade Center debris after September 11, died after a long, protracted battle of a respiratory disease in 2006. Now it turns out that Hirsch thinks Zadroga's death was caused by prescription drug abuse.

Zadroga had been taking a number of pills, and the Times reports Hirsch "concluded that Detective Zadroga had crushed pills and made them into a solution that was injected intravenously into his bloodstream," based on traces of the pills found in his lungs. However, two medical experts, the ME from Ocean County, NJ and an independent expert who was once chief ME in NYC, disagree, saying that the cop's death was from WTC dust.

Zadroga's father Joseph said, "Jimmy never abused drugs. I dispute that. The medical examiner did not report any track marks on his arms or body." He added that his son was so weak that he and his wife had to administer drugs to Zadroga - and that they kept the drugs locked up. The former NYC ME, Dr. Michael Baden, explained to the Daily News, "You could see glass fibers there," referring to examining samples under the microscope, "You don't get that from injecting drugs."

Joseph Zadroga is also upset that the ME's office decided to release this information and thinks it's because he released information about the ME's ruling last week. He told the Post, "I couldn't believe they could come out with that. He threatened us if we said anything to the press."

Zadroga's death was accepted as a September 11 casualty and he received money from the September 11 Victims Compensation fund. His parents are raising his young daughter (Zadroga's wife died during his illness). The Daily News has a withering article about the ME's office decision to smear a 9/11 hero.