Philip Seymour Hoffman’s overdose symptomatic of a larger problem

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via: Washington Post
Beloved actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his Manhattan apartment last week after an apparent heroin overdose. Since his death, police have tracked down four suspects connected to the heroin bags found in Hoffman’s apartment. Even with the arrests of Hoffman’s alleged dealers, celebrity drug abuse still looms large and takes center stage in this story.
It seems like every few months we hear news of a tragic celebrity death–and more often than not the autopsy comes back the same: overdose. The men and women we admire, we adore, we strive to emulate seem to be the unhappiest of us all, judging by the fact that Hollywood’s darlings are dropping like flies, swatted by this week’s drug of choice.
After sobering up at the age of 22, Hoffman was clean for 23 years. It was during these years that Hoffman rose to fame and claimed America’s hearts. It wasn’t until 2012 that Hoffman once again found himself in the slums of addiction, and what started with prescription pills grew to the heroin addiction that ultimately took his life. Intelligent, talented, and a family man, he is not the typical victim of a Hollywood overdose.
The truth behind celebrity suicides boils down to a couple different things. First and foremost, they have the money to buy these illegal substances. Secondly, the have clout and fame, making it easy to get pretty much anything they want. Third, their careers seem to be 30% performing and 70% going to parties for their performances. If you’re spending the majority of your time at parties, then yeah, you’re gonna run into some drugs.
Perhaps the most important thing that contributes to celebrity suicides is the overall nature of an actor, singer, model, etc. These are creative people with a knack for the dramatic. They experience emotions much more intensely than the average person and attempt to make sense of these emotions with drugs or alcohol.
Just look to history to see how many authors, poets, singers, designers, artists relied heavily on the bottle or the pill. There is a pattern, and because of this pattern, it is commonplace for celebrities to abuse illegal substances. The abuse is made worse by the fact that celebrities are, purportedly, handed drugs at pretty much any party or event they go to.
Until the mindset in Hollywood changes, we will continue to see drug-related celebrity deaths. There needs to be a complete overhaul in the industry’s outlook on drugs. Not to scoff at a serious issue, but it’s all fun and games for the stars until someone dies. And a lot of people have died.
Kind of makes you wonder, what is it going to take for Hollywood to make some dramatic changes to more than just movie scripts?


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Anna Turner

Anna is a freelance writer/producer based out of San Francisco. Her writing covers several genres, but her passion lies in humor, entertainment, education and culture.

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