The death of Philip Seymour Hoffman came as both a shock and a tragedy to many people. A big-name star with roles in multiple films, his death left a wake of sorrow and mourning among both fans and fellow celebrities, particularly in the Hunger Games movie franchise community. Many were saddened to find that the 46-year-old actor's death had been attributed to a heroin overdose, especially after he had been in recovery for so long. Now, the drugs that contributed to the actor's sudden and tragic death are under fearful investigation for being part of a "bad batch" of heroin that is leading to more fatal overdoses.
There is speculation that Hoffman may have been the victim of heroin laced with fentanyl, a type of drug that is used as a painkiller by healthcare professionals, as well as an addition to heroin to create a stronger high. State officials in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Maryland are investigating a string of overdoses that may be linked to a batch of heroin laced with the drug, and with Hoffman's sudden death, the question is being raised as to if he was a victim, as well.
There have been over 50 fatal overdoses in the three states mentioned above, and the frequency of deaths related to the drug has become increasingly concerning to law enforcement officials. Many heroin addicts enjoy having their fix laced with fentanyl, since it adds an extra "pop" to their high, but very few seem to understand the added risk that comes with that "pop." As Ray Isackila, a counselor at the University Hospital Case Medical Center in Cleveland, puts it, “They don’t know that fentanyl is in it and shoot it up and stop breathing, because they were unaware of the added punch in the narcotic.”
There is speculation as to if Hoffman's death is actually related to fentanyl-laced heroin or not. The actor was found dead on Sunday, and since the autopsy was just performed on Monday, the toxicology reports and findings from the Autopsy have not been made available yet. As such, there is no sure answer to the question. Some people speculate that the string of fentanyl-related overdoses are merely a coincidence, and that Hoffman was a relapsing addict that fell prey to an overdose born out of accident, rather than laced drugs.
It seems that the answers will not be made clear until a toxicology report is made public. Still, no matter the reason, Hoffman's death is still tragic, as is the loss of such a talented and beloved individual.
Image via this YouTube video.