Philip Seymour Hoffman was the tragic casualty of a global epidemic that’s spreading like wildfire.
Philip Seymour Hoffman is widely acknowledged as one of the most talented actors of our time. His penetrating gaze and rich voice made you believe him; whatever it was he was selling, you bought it. So how could someone with such talent, expertise and intelligence overdose on heroin?
The press releases don’t tell us if he was alone when he died, or where he got his drugs from. Please pardon the uncomfortable details, but we must not forget, hide, or ignore them. Not if we ever wish to find a solution to this epidemic.
Hoffman had been suffering long before his death on February 1. He once described that, when he graduated from college, he was thrust into the fast life that is New York City. Drugs, alcohol, and basically what amounts to dangerous chemical compounds were all on the table—anything he could get his hands on.
Recognizing his downward spiral, the extraordinarily bright and insightful Hoffman began drug and alcohol rehabilitation at the age of 22. He was reportedly sober for 23 years….23 YEARS. We celebrate his dedication, commitment, and determination. But as any addict will tell you, every single day is a fight for sobriety. Arriving to your 20th year sober is certainly a reason to celebrate, but in the mind of an addict, it is no different than the first hour you stopped using.