Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who has been open about his ongoing drug problem, is now dead, and the story made news before his family could notified. The Wall Street Journal broke the story, followed by other news sources like ABC News, E! Online, and The New York Post, that the acclaimed actor had passed away earlier today. Sources since the initial breaking news are saying that the public knew before his own family had been notified.
Initial reports claimed that the 46-year-old actor was found by a personal assistant, not breathing in the bathtub in his apartment in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan. The address is even being released as 35 Bethune St. and official confirmation came soon after that the actor, best known for his role as Truman Capote in the film, Capote, is, in fact, no longer with the world.
As the world digests the news that Philip Seymour Hoffman is dead, his family may have been second to hear after the story made headlines almost immediately. Questions are raised about the cause of death. Hoffman had a relationship with substances that sent him to rehab a few times. He first sought help in his early twenties, before reaching any level of celebrity, for uncontrollable use of drugs and alcohol, mainly in the form of heroin, and was sober for over two decades before he slipped back into substance abuse.
This time he was taking prescription painkillers, or opiates, which mimic the effects of heroin, his main drug of choice. When the highly addictive pills were no longer satisfying his desire for the opiate high he once loved so much, Philip Seymour Hoffman moved onto the real thing. He was sniffing heroin and his use again quickly spiraled out of control, progressing to the point of daily use, and a need for another stint in rehab. This time, needing to return to filming his latest projects, Hoffman opted for participation in a 10-day detoxification program instead of a full inpatient stint in rehab, generally 30, 60, 90 or even 180 days.
Are drugs responsible for the death of Capote’s Best Actor Academy Award winner, Philip Seymour Hoffman? Did drugs return to his life after the detox program and his films were complete? Was staying away from heroin and prescription painkillers too difficult with only 10 days of treatment?
Early reports are saying that yes, drugs have caused the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. The New York Post reports that the cause of death is a drug overdose, and Daily Mail reports that police officers and first response officials found the actor with bags of heroin and “a syringe still sticking out of his arm.” There is no report on why the actor returned to the drug that brought so many negative consequences into his life before he reached fame, and then again at a pivotal point in his career, but for those who understand drug addiction, the possibility of relapse always exists.
Sadly, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death does not just impact him; he is survived by partner Mimi O’Donnell, a costume designer, and the couple’s three children, son Cooper and daughters Tallulah and Willa, who possibly had to find out via Twitter, Facebook, and blogging communities. Social media outlets are going wild with this story, mostly with incredible sorrow for the loss of such a talented actor. The power of drugs and alcohol once again takes the life of a gifted and accomplished performer too soon.
By K. Corrine Van Vliet