RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman

Found dead in his apartment today. He was 46.

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139 replies
  1. 1
    Betty Cracker says:

    OMFG, that sucks. He was a terrific actor.

  2. 2
    PaulW says:

    is this a legit report? I’m not entirely trusting of WSJ anymore…

  3. 3
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I was just heading over here to see if anyone had posted that. What a huge loss.

  4. 4
    rikyrah says:

    RIP, Mr. Hoffman.

  5. 5
    DougJ says:

    Holy shit, that’s awful!

    Best actor of his generation.

  6. 6
    BGinCHI says:

    Stunning.

    Goddamn it.

  7. 7
    raven says:

    Damn

  8. 8
    Keith G says:

    Yikes! I have always appreciated his ability to inhabit a role and to disappear into that persona.

  9. 9
    Culture of Truth says:

    omg — he was great actor

  10. 10
    jayboat says:

    Rest in peace. He will be missed.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    Mnemosyne says:

    I’ve only seen it in a few places, so I hope it’s not true, but if so, addiction may have claimed another life since he got out of a stint in rehab about 6 months ago.

  13. 13
    Yatsuno says:

    Only 46. None of us knows how many revolutions we get.

  14. 14
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Some FB people are saying suspected overdose. Just so sad.

  15. 15
  16. 16
    Mnemosyne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    He was pretty open about it and said he had slipped again after 23 years sober. Once you start down that heroin path again, though, it’s really, really tough to get back on track.

  17. 17
    dedc79 says:

    A major loss. HIs bit parts were as good if not better than some of his major roles. His scenes in the Big Lebowski are some of the best in the movie and that’s saying a lot.

  18. 18
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    Terrible. Just terrible.

  19. 19
    Smiling Mortician says:

    His performance in Magnolia breaks my heart. As does this news.

  20. 20
    kindness says:

    I liked his characters, even when they weren’t nice people. He was sincere in his acting.

  21. 21
    Omnissiah says:

    Goddammit. Heroin strikes again.

    What a great actor, and seemingly a super nice guy too.

  22. 22
    hells littlest angel says:

    Sad. A brilliant actor.

  23. 23
    Trentrunner says:

    Looks like heroin. Yesterday on NPR they had a story about a new fatal strain of heroin in southwest Pennsylvania that had killed 20+ people. Weird.

    Such a sad, sad loss. He was magnificent in everything I saw him, esp PT Anderson films and in The Talented Mr. Ripley.

    He leaves behind three young children.

  24. 24
    GregB says:

    Addiction is a killer. If you have a problem seek help. Ask friends and family. People will surprise you with their generosity.

  25. 25
    aimai says:

    @Trentrunner: How sad for them and for his wife. Tragic. I loved him as an actor.

  26. 26
    Emerald says:

    Oh man. Probably the best we had.

    And Maximilian Schell died just yesterday.

  27. 27
    Suzanne says:

    This is such a loss.

    I don’t even see it on any news source besides the WSJ yet.

    I am still not sure why people of such talent die so early, while Kardashians abound.

  28. 28
    Hungry Joe says:

    My wife and I saw him on Broadway with John C. Reilly in “True West.” He and Reilly were switching roles every other night, and if we’d had tickets you better believe that the next night we’d have been there again.

  29. 29
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @aimai:

    Three children. The oldest not quite 11.

  30. 30
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    Stunned. So talented. I met him once and he was just the nicest, sweetest man.

  31. 31
    hells littlest angel says:

    A personal favorite is Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead , in which he played a craven, rotten sleazebag, and made him sympathetic.

  32. 32
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @hells littlest angel:

    He was also just pitch-perfect in portraying ambiguity as the priest in Doubt.

  33. 33
    max says:

    @Suzanne: I don’t even see it on any news source besides the WSJ yet.

    NYT:

    The official said Mr. Hoffman, 46, had been found in his West Village apartment around 11:30 a.m. by a friend who had become concerned at not being able to reach Mr. Hoffman.

    A cause of death had not yet been determined, the official said, but it appeared to have been the result of an overdose.

    max
    [‘It would make me nervous but I don’t have that habit.’]

  34. 34
    phoebes-in-santa fe says:

    A great actor. Loved him in “Charlie Wilson’s War”. Actually, I loved him in everything, even in “The Master”, which was a lousy movie, but he was great.

  35. 35
    Brian R. says:

    Goddamnit.

    Saw him on Broadway in Long Day’s Journey into Night. Just amazing.

  36. 36
    Amir Khalid says:

    I saw him in Doubt, opposite Meryl Streep. He played a Catholic priest whom Streep’s character, a nun, suspected of sexually abusing boys. Great performance by Hoffman; you came away feeling like you really knew the priest, but not necessarily that knowing him could tell you if he really was guilty.

  37. 37
    geg6 says:

    Wow, a truly great actor. Maybe the best of his generation.

    Very sad. If it’s due to addiction, that sucks even more. Hope he didn’t get any of the Theraflu (heroin name brand, not the OTC medicine) stuff that’s been killing people left and right around here. Bad shit. They say that it’s killing people who, with their normal dosage, would usually just be using enough to get through the day and it wouldn’t be a big deal to them. I think it’s heroin mixed with fentanyl??

  38. 38
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Trentrunner:

    Here’s the text version of the NPR story. Apparently some dealers are mixing it with fentanyl and the combination is causing the deaths.

  39. 39
    SuperHrefna says:

    Goddammit. He was such a good actor. This whole resurgence of Heroin has got me off guard. I just can’t even figure out a response to it. It was bad enough to watch my elder sister go through her addiction to Heroin in the 70s, but then to see it come back so hard, so strong, it’s killed so many people, including one of my nieces, and kids today just seem to view it as a cheap form of Oxycontin. It’s a plague. An absolute plague.

  40. 40
    Joey Maloney says:

    The Post, being the Post, is reporting he was found in the bathroom with the needle still in his arm. Goddammit.

  41. 41
    CaseyL says:

    Shocking news, though I didn’t know he had an addiction problem. Terribly, terribly sad.

    My thoughts go out to his family, friends, and colleagues.

  42. 42
    gogol's wife says:

    Very sad. What a waste.

  43. 43
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Joey Maloney:

    Weird as this is going to sound, I would doubt the dramatic addition of the needle since, by Hoffman’s own claims, he was a heroin snorter, not an injector, and as I understand it, most people stick with one or the other.

    ETA: Just to be clear, I’m not an expert of any kind, so it’s possible, I’m just remembering what I’ve read when I researched personal stories about addiction.

  44. 44
    raven says:

    Touched with fire.

  45. 45
    Comrade Mary says:

    Gandolfini and Hoffman in one 12 month period. FUCK.

  46. 46
    Elizabelle says:

    oh no

  47. 47
    Garbo says:

    “The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.”

    Cameron Crowe’s (or perhaps really Lester Bang’s originally, who knows) words, but PSH’s sincerity that made this moment hit home. Damn what a fucking shame.

  48. 48
    Elizabelle says:

    Never saw him in anything that he was not great in.

    Terrible loss.

  49. 49
    aimai says:

    @hells littlest angel: Oh my god that movie was so difficult to watch we bailed on it and I never managed to see it all the way through. He was terrific in The Savages, as well, a movie that is equally difficult to watch.

  50. 50
    🎂 Martin says:

    Just say no, kids.

  51. 51
    Ruckus says:

    A great, great actor. Not the kind that makes headlines but the kind that makes you believe. He will be missed, by his family, and by those who admired his skills. The world is a lesser place today.
    RIP Mr. Hoffman.

  52. 52
    SuperHrefna says:

    @aimai: I think Savages was my personal fave of his roles, alongside State and Main

  53. 53
    Rosalita says:

    shit! what a loss. loved him in everything he did.

  54. 54

    I just saw “Capote” for the first time last month. What an amazing actor. What a terrible loss.

  55. 55
    Kay says:

    @SuperHrefna:

    but then to see it come back so hard, so strong

    We’re seeing a lot of it. The first time I ran across it I was questioning the police report ; “heroin? really?”
    The heroin users here are younger and better-off financially than meth users were during the meth peak locally. They’re 16, 17, 18. It’s a whole different group.
    Meth here was very definitely downscale and a lot of that crowd were in their 30’s and even 40’s.

  56. 56
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Just damn it.

  57. 57
    Keith P says:

    Anyone wise in the ways of opiates know why heroin is so popular but opium isn’t? I’ve never even seen either in person before (although I’ve had a friend try to tell me that some powdered incense that he had was opium), so I don’t know the ins and outs of that particular “genre” of drugs.

  58. 58
    Alex S. says:

    I am shocked… though some gossip sites have been speculating about his addiction.

    @Joey Maloney:

    In this case, I don’t mind hearing graphic details. People should know if it was the drug that killed him.

  59. 59
    Cermet says:

    Terrible – he died far too young (anyone under 80 but you know what I mean) and was both a great actor and director; the movie business is loosing a great talent, as well. Drugs – so useful but like all things in life – a dangerous trap.

  60. 60
    Hill Dweller says:

    The word “great” gets thrown around a lot in the entertainment industry, but Hoffman was a truly great actor. He was the only current actor in Daniel Day Lewis’ league, and could disappear into any roll.

  61. 61
    ThresherK says:

    Too soon.

    He was in Michael Penn’s video for “Try”, c 1997, before I knew who he was.

    Can’t link because (either I’m having Flash problems or) YouTube says “not available in the USA”, so suckit, YouToob.

  62. 62
    Kay says:

    @SuperHrefna:

    They think it’s because they tightened up prescription painkiller access with electronic reporting across state lines and among and between outlets, although kids weren’t “doctor shopping” or going to emergency rooms they were stealing prescription drugs from relatives or others and selling them or passing them out, so who the hell knows.

  63. 63
    lamh36 says:

    “@

    RichelleCarey: Clean for 20 years..then started using last year. ‘Philip Seymour Hoffman Found Dead in New York’ http://variety.com/2014/film/n.....201082934/ via @Variety”

  64. 64
    Geeno says:

    From Boogie Nights to Charlie Wilson’s War to Capote, he was fantastic in everything. He made you understand his character, even when his character was being an asshole. That is a rare talent; this is a huge loss.
    I won’t pretend to sympathize with relatives who I only discovered reading the news, of course their loss is immeasurable, but I can’t understand their loss, never having known the man. I know his work, its nuance and beauty. I can only imagine the man behind it, but it is the promise of his future work that pains me.

  65. 65
    lamh36 says:

    “@RichelleCarey: Clean for 20 years..then started using last year. ‘Philip Seymour Hoffman Found Dead in New York’ http://variety.com/2014/film/n.....201082934/ via @Variety”

  66. 66
    geg6 says:

    @Keith P:

    I used to smoke a bit of opium back in the day (late 70s). Had a friend who was actually an international drug dealer and he’d bring along some every now and then. Never heard of it in powder form. From what I saw of it, it was a tarry ball. Got us super high, but never smoked enough to get addicted to it or anything. It was a good high and I didn’t find it addicting or stupefying. Cocaine scared me more.

  67. 67
    SuperHrefna says:

    @Kay: my ex-junkie sister was devastated on so many levels by her daughter dying from her old enemy but I think one of the first things to smack her in the face was just sheer disbelief that her daughter could have been taking heroin so casually, without all the ritualistic safeguards that were part of heroin culture in the old days. Kids today just seem to see it as another drug. And they are dying in droves. After my niece died we found out that heroin was being treated rather like beer by her fellow students and that her university ( Oregon) had a truly horrific rate of student deaths due to heroin overdoses. It boggles my mind.

  68. 68
    hells littlest angel says:

    @Keith P: Used to be able to get opium in NYC (Chinatown and Harlem) back in the 80s, but it’s never been easy to find. It’s a lot simpler to smuggle in a million dollars worth of heroin than a million dollars worth of opium, and the penalty for getting caught with both is the same.

  69. 69
    West of the Cascades says:

    Fuck. I saw him on Broadway in “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” with Vanessa Redgrave, Brian Dennehy, and Robert Sean Leonard, probably the best thing I’ve ever seen live. Four hours of experiencing four amazing actors relaying the pain of repressed addictions and emotions. Sad to see him pass like this.

  70. 70
    the Conster says:

    So pointless and sad. He left behind an amazing body of work – his performance in Boogie Nights was heartbreaking. I will never understand why these immensely talented and successful actors find the lure of drugs so powerful. What a waste – and Darth Cheney still lives.

  71. 71
    MazeDancer says:

    Utter tragedy. Wonderful actor of real. Not glam, glitz fame hound worried about his “brand”.

    Drugs are evil. Heroin uber evil.

    @SuperHrefna:
    If kids are dallying with heroin, that is wretched to hear. And so sorry for your sister.

  72. 72
    Betty Cracker says:

    @SuperHrefna: God, that’s awful. I’m sorry about the loss of your niece. We have friends who have been struggling with their early 20s-age daughter’s addiction for several years. It’s a nightmare for the addict and the family.

  73. 73
    Geeno says:

    Yeah – if there were a domestic opium supply, opium might be a thing, but even then, there’s the demand for the faster, “better” high concentrating opium into heroin. So I doubt opium will ever be a thing like it was in the 19th century.

  74. 74
    SuperHrefna says:

    @Kay: yeah, that’s what they are saying around here ( Long Island) as well. There’s been a crack down on the availability of pills after a set of truly horrific pharmacist murders so now the kids are going for Heroin instead to get a similar high.

    One thing I wonder – did heroin go underground for so long that the cultural memory for it was just lost among young people? They just don’t seem to understand why us olds view it as being different from molly, or oxys.

  75. 75
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    The disease of addiction doesn’t sleep. It can still progress even when you’re clean and/or sober. Twenty years’ clean is an accomplishment, no doubt. It isn’t a guarantee that an addict is in control of the disease. If Hoffman did choose to go out then he went out as the addict that he would be that moment – not the addict that he was twenty years previously. As such, his maintenance dose would take little time to be near a fatal dose. If he laid his hands on some stuff that was more pure than he usually obtained then his fate was sealed.

  76. 76
    Rhoda says:

    @Suzanne: His is a great loss; but life isn’t about the talent you have and they’re alive because they’re time hasn’t come. When it does; it’ll feel too soon to the people that love them.

  77. 77
    Rhoda says:

    @Suzanne: His is a great loss; but life isn’t about the talent you have and they’re alive because they’re time hasn’t come. When it does; it’ll feel too soon to the people that love them.

  78. 78
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    What you said. Just about word for word, my first thoughts.

    RIP.

  79. 79
    Kay says:

    @SuperHrefna:

    so casually,

    That’s true in my experience. I’m thinking they don’t know because they simply weren’t around for that? They don’t know the whole “danger!” aura around it? Because it definitely had that reputation.

    It’s getting a lot of attention from law enforcement because it was so weird, so fast, just, BLAM, and it’s seemingly everywhere.

  80. 80
    lamh36 says:

    damn. this is the curse of new social media.

    “@KeithOlbermann: On top of the awful news of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death is the implication that the news may have leaked before family notification”

  81. 81
    Botsplainer says:

    My secretary used to be his personal assistant in New York.

    Tomorrow is gonna suck balls.

  82. 82
    🎂 Martin says:

    @lamh36: Shifting toward something more productive… boycotting the paparazzi media is a worthwhile action. Just put them out of business.

  83. 83
    Violet says:

    Oh, no. What a loss. Such a tremendous actor. Certainly one of the best of his generation.

    John Cole says he looks like Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Aren’t they around the same age, too? Hope this doesn’t hit him too hard.

  84. 84
    Kay says:

    @SuperHrefna:

    Right. I keep coming across “Vermont”. Vermont is always mentioned. Vermont as the heroin Ground Zero is..odd. Maybe they just have good public health reporting and a small population, so they caught it first.

    Anyway, I’m sorry for Mr. Hoffman. I liked his work.

  85. 85
    Keith P says:

    @geg6: The powdered stuff is called, I think, “Red Rocks”. People think they’re getting high but really they’re just getting fucked up from inhaling pure incense. Preying on folks not knowing what real opium is. Coke scares me a bit, but I never did enough to OD; the bad part of it for me was the next morning, as you had a sore throat from the runny nose, and bloody snot from the irritated nasal membranes. Not worth the high.

    @hells littlest angel: I would have figured heroin to have a steeper penalty, since it’s been processed (back when I smoked bubble hash, the big thing was to throw that away first if getting pulled over, as the penalty was on par with coke due to the “processing” (although it’s just weed washed in ice and filtered). I definitely get the portability of the heroin, though.

  86. 86
    Brian R. says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    Same here. Saw it with PSH as the slob brother. You?

  87. 87
    jayjaybear says:

    @SuperHrefna: It is, unfortunately, a natural consequence of the kind of “drug education” that was the ONLY drug education since the 80s. If all you get is DARE, you’re eventually going to realize that 2/3 of every damn thing they told you is either a lie or an exaggeration, and you’re going to decide that that must mean that EVERYTHING they told you about drugs is wrong and none of them are really all that bad.

  88. 88
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @lamh36:

    If this is true … Can’t even imagine the pain.

  89. 89
    Brian R. says:

    @West of the Cascades:

    Yep, saw that too. Amazing cast.

  90. 90
    MikeJ says:

    @SuperHrefna:

    did heroin go underground for so long that the cultural memory for it was just lost among young people?

    It was huge in the 90s. There were pop songs about it. Of course that’s 15 years old now.

  91. 91
    scav says:

    @lamh36: I thought I saw one article with a police official / source requesting anonymity because of something along those lines. It’s not just social media, it’s endemic in the system and regular get it first media too.

  92. 92
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @MikeJ:

    It was huge in the 90s. There were pop songs about it. Of course that’s 15 years old now.

    We can’t even correctly remember what happened in the last war sufficiently to not start the next one. You want people to remember drugs too? No way.

  93. 93
    Scamp Dog says:

    @PaulW: news from the WSJ is usually good, it’s the editorial page that’s bonkers.

  94. 94
    Elizabelle says:

    The talented Mr. Hoffman. NJ.com profile from 2008.

    http://www.nj.com/entertainmen.....ffman.html

  95. 95
    SatanicPanic says:

    What a fucking bummer

  96. 96
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    The initial reports are making me wonder if his wife and kids were out of town, especially since he had only just gotten back from Sundance. It’s not unusual for an addict to binge while their family is gone for a few days.

  97. 97
    cmorenc says:

    @DougJ:

    Best actor of his generation.

    I’d have to give Daniel-Day-Lewis at least a tie for best-of-generation e.g. his master-performance in “Lincoln”. However, why choose between Lewis and Hoffman for “best”, when both are quintessential exaples of the very top level of excellence in that craft. Alas, with great respect for Mr. Hoffman, we’ll only ever get what we already have of his work.

    However, his untimely death could potentially throw off the planned plot trajectory of the planned/underway(?) third and fourth parts of the “Hunger Games” series. They’ll probably have to re-write the parts for those that almost certinly included his role.

  98. 98
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: It seems kind of silly to be asking why people don’t remember it this time, when people clearly didn’t remember it last time. Why don’t people remember the last collective forgetting?

  99. 99
    Hill Dweller says:

    @cmorenc: Day-Lewis is 10 years older. I wouldn’t necessarily consider him in Hoffman’s generation. That said, I think those two are/were the best actors working today.

  100. 100
    rikyrah says:

    Addiction is evil.

    Ruins so many good lives.

    Horrible to watch up close and personal, the helplessness of it all.

  101. 101
    SuperHrefna says:

    @cmorenc: I would give PSH the title of Best in his Generation just on the basis of having a far, far wider body of work that I enjoyed. Day Lewis blew me away in Lincoln (his Lincoln reminded me and my brother so much of our stepfather it was unsettling) but PSH just has such a wide variety of roles that I can return to and watch over and over again, so he’d get the edge from me. But I do agree with you that it is silly to make a choice one doesn’t have to. They are both top class actors, and it is so upsetting that we’ll never get to enjoy a new PSH performance. I haven’t been this upset about and actor’s death since Richard Griffiths

    I think they have filmed at least the first of the last two Hunger Games movies though, at least when I went to PSH’s imdb it was listed as being in post production.

  102. 102
    CaseyL says:

    @jayjaybear: It’s pretty difficult for me to believe that heroine addicts don’t know anyone in their circle who’s died from an OD, or don’t know the risks of using new formulations of the stuff.

    Addiction is a disease, and one of the things the disease does is wreck one’s capacity for critical thinking.

    People aren’t dying from heroine ODs because they don’t know any better, or because of stupid programs like DARE. They’re dying because their brains are no longer capable of assessing risks properly when it comes to getting a fix. And I don’t know how to address that particular consequence of addiction.

  103. 103
    kc says:

    Oh no! Oh man, that sucks.

  104. 104
    Mary G says:

    So sad. I remember watching “Twister” and thinking what a piece of dreck it was except for his character, Dusty.

  105. 105
    wasabi gasp says:

    I have a hard time understanding how his 20-year-old self had enough sense to nip this in the bud, yet his nearly 45-year-old self started running with the scissors. His death is made only more incomprehensible by the fact that his life in the intervening years wasn’t a flat stagnant line, but an upward trajectory based on enough mastery and discipline to make him one of the greats. Add in the kids for extra confusion.

    I know who you are and you are nothing. You think you are fucking something, but you are fucking nothing. You are empty. You are a zero. You are a black hole.

  106. 106
    Elizabelle says:

    Especially sad because of all the years of great characters we won’t see.

    Not death after a long and full career.

    And his partner, Mimi, and three little kids left behind, a son and two younger daughters.

    Tragedy.

  107. 107
    Ruckus says:

    Wouldn’t it be great if there was some way, some process to help addicts rather than just criminalize them? Maybe to help them understand and live with being an addict rather than stigmatize the drugs(except alcohol which we already tried almost a century ago) as the problem? Not saying drugs like heroin are not a problem just that the drug of choice is frequently the one that can be obtained easiest at the moment. And of course there are drugs which are addictive enough that even just trying them can lead almost anyone to addiction. Meth comes to mind.

  108. 108
    liberal says:

    @wasabi gasp:
    Not hard for me at all. He’s human. Sadly, most of us often do things which aren’t in our best interest.

    I don’t have any nasty addictions like PSH did, but I have my own list of foibles, and damn they’re hard to stamp out.

  109. 109
    Refoemed Panty Sniffer says:

    As others have said, PSH was good in every movie he was in, even the bad ones. I remember one film where he portrayed a “Huffer” (his character is either a widower or in a bad breakup overcome with grief and turns to drugs. . . can’t remember), which seems somewhat creepy now. He obviously had some drug demons as mentioned in the press recently. With 3 young children left behind, this is an especially bad ending. RIP

  110. 110
    Ruckus says:

    @wasabi gasp:
    Addictive personalities don’t think like non addictive personalities do. It is hard to understand the difference because it is partially how one looks at life and what to do about both the good and the bad days. How do you celebrate or commiserate? How do you overcome or hide? Which feels better, reality or using? Is the glass half full or always empty?

  111. 111
    Gene108 says:

    @wasabi gasp:

    Sometimes, when you are on top of the world, you feel invincible.

  112. 112
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ruckus:

    Careful, that’s the kind of talk that got me in big trouble a few weeks ago when I was saying that it would be more helpful to try and figure out which people are likely to get addicted than to convince everyone that alcohol and marijuana are automatically bad no matter what.

    I do think that drugs that we know are physically addictive (like opiates or amphetamines) still need to be tightly controlled and not sold for recreational use, but so far the evidence is that pretty much the only way to directly kill yourself with marijuana would be to smoke it in an airtight room and suffocate yourself.

    We’ll have to throw a lot more money at healthcare, of course, and convince people that, no, addicts did not make a conscious choice to become addicts, but I think it can be done.

  113. 113
    Citizen_X says:

    Jesus. Fucking dope.

  114. 114
    sparrow says:

    @Mnemosyne: Here in Baltimore there has been a spike in heroin overdose deaths, because the dealers are cutting it with Fentanyl, the super-powerful painkiller they use for epidurals, among other things. It greatly increases the chance of death by overdose.

  115. 115
    Amir Khalid says:

    An odd bit of trivia about heroin that’s been lodged in my head for years: Charlie Watts, the least inclined towards the rock-star lifestyle of the Rolling Stones, became a heroin addict a decade after Keith Richards got clean. Even he, Charlie, says he doesn’t know what drove him to it. I suspect that addiction is an inherent part of our behavioral repertoire; the difference between addictive types and the rest of us is only that for them addiction is just more easily triggered, even if only by happenstance.

  116. 116
    YellowJournalism says:

    We just lost the one man who could bring true heart and soul to a John Cole biopic, and I mean that as a gigantic and sincere compliment to both men. Hoffman was the type of rare actor who can capture that mixture of humor and pathos in the average human that few can recreate.

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    Steve Crickmore says:

    Fueling the violent drug cartels in Mexico and Columbia, where most of America’s heroin comes from –Heroin consumed in the U.S. is produced by cartels operating in Mexico and Colombia’ – is not a good choice by anyone who has much critical thinking. I suppose actors like playing many different roles, including sometimes the bad guys to fulfill themselves.

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    dp says:

    @aimai: My daughter and I just watched The Savages last night. He was, as usual, tremendous in it. What a sad loss.

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    Ruckus says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    An addictive personality doesn’t necessarily make rational decisions about the outcomes of their behavior. Some can easily walk away even though they like the affects of the drugs they have used. Many don’t have that ability. Sometimes they think, it won’t affect me the same way so I can try it. But many drugs have a slow physically addictive or additive nature. I know people who have shot up heroin more than once and then just walked away. They didn’t dislike the experience they told me it just wasn’t what they thought it would be like. Didn’t mean they didn’t keep looking for that high that they may never find. On the other hand many can try drugs and decide that they don’t need or like the outcome. They walk away. Addictive personalities can do that as well but their minds/bodies make that harder. Sometimes much harder. Getting high may just be easier regardless of the affects.

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    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @Comrade Mary: Couldn’t said it better myself. My favorite of PSH was as the disgraced preacher in Cold Moutain.

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    Karen in GA says:

    @scav: The initial NY Times report (although upon reflection, maybe it came from AP or another source) quoted a police source who didn’t want to be identified because it wasn’t clear that his family had been notified.

    Christ.

    RIP, PSH.

  123. 123
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    It brings me back to something that was actually allowed on tv back in the early 90’s. LIverpool (was I right) nipped its heroin and other drug problem in the bud by creating a clinic where addicts could get carefully measured doses of what they were addicted to, along with medical supervision. It was successful until the “righteous” drug warriors shut it down because they felt it encouraged drug use.

    If he could have gone to a daily clinic, he would be alive today.

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    xaneroxane says:

    @Violet: Agreed. I definitely saw PSH as JC in the Balloon Juice biopic/romcom/darkcom… Kindest thoughts to all.

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    StringOnAStick says:

    Such an incredible actor, so sad.

    Considering how seriously the FDA tracks narcotics, I wondered how a legit drug like Fentanyl was getting diverted into the heroin market. A quick wiki told me all I needed to know: lots of illegal manufacturing, mostly in Mexico (if destined for the US), lots of analogues, and the reason it is showing up more is it ‘makes up’ for poor quality heroin. It is also so remarkably strong that it is difficult to dilute it safely, especially from clandestine makers, and will kill someone not habituated to a stronger dose quite easily. So, this is why this mix is so deadly; much worse than just ‘plain’ heroin (which is plenty dangerous on its own).

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    sparrow says:

    @CarolDuhart2: Exactly. Seen in a certain light, the choice to take drugs is entirely rational. Your sober life is hell. Drugs make you feel happy. The fucking end. If we were willing to give addicts a safe hit in the hope that they would (a) get the psychic healing they need to not need drugs anymore, or at least (b) not die, these stories wouldn’t happen.

    Edited to add: Every day we continue the drug war is a day we say we would rather people die than get help.

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    Hungry Joe says:

    @Brian R.: I saw it with Reilly as the slob brother, Hoffman as the writer.

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    WereBear says:

    @sparrow: Edited to add: Every day we continue the drug war is a day we say we would rather people die than get help.

    So true, I agree with all you have to say.

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    Mnemosyne says:

    @sparrow:

    Seen in a certain light, the choice to take drugs is entirely rational. Your sober life is hell. Drugs make you feel happy. The fucking end.

    Well, sort of. It’s difficult to figure out exactly what an “addictive personality” is because so many of the things people abuse are physically addictive, but some of the studies on non-drug addictions (like gambling) seem to show that it may be a form of OCD.

    And sometimes it’s a chicken-and-egg problem — was the person really in unbearable pain before the addiction, or was it the addiction that made their life hell?

    Overall, though, obviously I agree with you that a public health approach that gives people an opportunity to seek treatment rather than just locking them up is much more productive for everyone.

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    debbie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    NPR was again talking about this heroin just now. Someone said that people dying from this combination was making other addicts want it that much more. How can anyone fight that kind of mindset?

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    WaterGirl says:

    @debbie: If it doesn’t kill you, the high must be incredible, right?

    edit: that’s the only way I can make sense of the reaction you mentioned.

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    DougJ says:

    @Brian R.:

    Me too! Amazing.

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    debbie says:

    @WaterGirl:

    It certainly seems to make you not care about anything else.

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    Ruckus says:

    @WaterGirl:
    You are trying to make sense of something that doesn’t have a lot of logic to it. And your frame of reference is probably all wrong to be able to understand but @sparrow: has it exactly right. A non addict will see nothing making sense, an addict will rationalize perfect sense into it. Take drinking, many do without being addicts. They can enjoy the taste, the feeling of one to a few drinks. A glass of wine with dinner. Even an occasional too many drinks. An addict will like the effect and want more. Until that more becomes their entire life. At some point if they are lucky they get a chance to overcome that desire, that must have solution that isn’t a solution at all.

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    Mnemosyne says:

    @debbie:

    I don’t know but, honestly, I’m guessing that part of the thrill for some addicts is coming as close as possible to death and escaping. Like auto-erotic asphyxiation, which is also something I really don’t get.

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    Ruckus says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Yeah, the reaction that you got was out of line, it is not a viewpoint that many hold. But the trials of giving addicts that high that the will end up doing almost anything for and that will destroy their life and that of many around them and in a controlled atmosphere does seem to have much more success than the war on drugs, which was lost probably before it was even officially started. We still have people dying from addictions, trying stupid but easily available drugs like meth. We’ve been doing the wrong thing for so long and losing badly at it that I doubt that anyone with any political power will ever admit it. But I thought that our foreign policy would always be like that and we now have President Obama and SoS Kerry and look at where we are. So maybe being on the cutting edge, talking about how to make a 180 degree turn that’s what’s necessary to make progress.

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    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ruckus:

    Honestly, I suspect that what actually works with the methadone/maintenance heroin programs is that the people have constant (usually at least weekly) contact with addiction medicine specialists who can eventually gain their trust enough to steer them into recovery programs … assuming such recovery programs exist, of course. That usually turns out to be the rub — there’s money for the methadone program, but no one wants “taxpayer dollars” to pay for the counseling that would help the person kick the habit.

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    chas potts says:

    @🎂 Martin: Yeah, that always works.

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    Anne Laurie says:

    @SuperHrefna:

    One thing I wonder – did heroin go underground for so long that the cultural memory for it was just lost among young people? They just don’t seem to understand why us olds view it as being different from molly, or oxys.

    Yeah, I suspect The Kidz figure old people (like us) lied about molly, lied about marijuana, lied about sex, lied about internet “piracy” — why wouldn’t we be lying about heroin, too?

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