Philip Seymour Hoffman And The Reality Of Addiction


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Philip Seymour Hoffman will be remembered as a talented actor who was loved as respected for his craft, and who will leave behind devastated family and friends.

The 46-year old actor was found yesterday in his Manhattan apartment, and it is now being reported that he died of a drug overdose.

Law enforcement sources claim that he was found on the floor of his apartment's bathroom, and that there was a needle still in his arm. Police found eight empty glassine-type bags, with the words "Ace of Hearts" and "Ace of Spades"—street names for heroin. Two bags full of what is believed to be heroin were also recovered at the scene by law enforcement officials.

As the reality dawns on onlookers that this was a death caused by addiction, some are taking a far less sympathetic view of the matter:

Jared Padalecki, star of TV's "Supernatual" gave a comment that is currently receiving a great deal of backlash.


Some people, who have never struggled with addiction themselves or been touched by it through a loved one's addiction have a habit of greatly underestimating the life-long hold it has on an individual. One never stops being an alcoholic even if one is able to stop drinking. The temptation and desire are there and a relapse is always possible.

In the case of Hoffman, he had reportedly struggled with a heroin addiction for over two decades.

He admitted in an interview with 60 Minutes that his issues with drugs and alcohol began shortly after finishing college in 1989

“It was all that drugs and alcohol, yeah....It was anything that I could get my hands on. I liked it all.”

Eventually Hoffman was able to get over his addiction, which he managed to fight for 23 years before voluntarily checking into rehab in May 2013.

It wasn't as if Hoffman hadn't tried to stop using drugs. It wasn't even as if he didn't try to get help when he knew he needed it.

It's not a matter of being "strong enough" or "good enough" or "wise enough". Anyone can become addicted to a substance under the right circumstances. And it's not always a matter of drugs and alcohol. Sex addiction. Food addiction and addiction to sugar. Addiction to technology and the internet.

There are no safe addictions. There is no cure-all for addiction. It is facing the reality that something has a hold of you and admitting you have a problem. If any good can come of the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, maybe the discussion of his death and how he died will make someone somewhere realize that they need help and seek rehab. If that's you, DO NOT WAIT.

Images via Wikimedia Commons, Jared Padalecki's Twitter (screencapped by Jezebel)