Patterico's Pontifications

2/3/2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman Dead of Apparent Overdose

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:41 am

Great actor. Loved him in The Big Lebowski and many other films. RIP.

115 Responses to “Philip Seymour Hoffman Dead of Apparent Overdose”

  1. I took the opportunity to note to my kids yesterday that he was just one year older than I am. They’ve seen him in films, including the recent Hunger Games picture, so it means something to them. They already know what drugs can do to people, but it can’t hurt to reinforce it. Hoffman didn’t get the message. I hope my kids do.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. So how will this death affect the production of Mockingjay?

    Michael Ejercito (906585)

  3. You are a good father, sir. I hate to say it, but the best thing about celebrity death is the teachable moment it provides.

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  4. I believe Mockingjay is already “in the can”, that is, already finished and in post-production.

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  5. Filipe, according top IMDB, the first movie is marked post-production but the second movie’s status is “filming.”

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  6. I liked him in that one movie with that guy where they were drinking buddies

    happyfeet (b74d82)

  7. Greetings:

    Lest this obituary turn into a lure for “heroin chic”, I offer the following.

    Growing up in the Bronx of the ’50s and ’60s led to some up close but not personal experiences with heroin addiction.

    The first was a Saturday morning when my father and I were driving through Harlem to go boating with one of his work buddies. Stopped at a red light, I saw a Negro man on the corner sitting on an imaginary chair, largely disheveled, in a pair of well-soiled khakis. That, my father explained, was what heroin would do to you. He referred to it as “nodding”.

    The next significant experience was a passing basketball acquaintance with a heroin addict who was kind enough to explain to me that he “didn’t have a drug problem”, he had “a money problem” because if he “had the money he could find the drugs”.

    Next on my list of heroin hits was the addict who, when told of another addict’s overdose death, inquired, “Where did he cop?” not wanting to miss the opportunity to get some more powerful than usual drugs.

    Finally, there was the overall contribution of heroin addicts and their supply chains in the destruction of large swaths of the Bronx, a kind of Dresden-lite treatment if you like, during the “60s and ’70s.

    I’ve long thought that heroin addiction was a quest for death in a Freudian (that Austrian-speaking doctor from old Vienna) Thanatos subconscious kind of way. Some addicts crave the meth or cocaine route of more intense living, but heroin users seem to me to want to withdraw from life with death being the fully successful state.

    11B40 (0d6d1e)

  8. 11B40-
    Many good thoughts,
    I tend to agree that heroin users want to withdraw from life, but I don’t necessarily think that it is a full death wish; more of a short term, “I don’t like/can’t tolerate life as it is right now, let me find a way to dodge it, for now“.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  9. I liked him in Capote. It’s an obvious choice since he won the Best Actor Oscar for his role, but I thought it was well deserved.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  10. Greetings, “MD in Philly”: ( @ #8 )

    At the risk of appearing contentious, one of the good Doctor Freud’s best bits of wit or wisdom was his idea that a lot of people don’t quite understand what’s actually motivating their behavior. I’m sure that once they become addicted, most heroin addicts lose touch with their inner motivations as the need for their drug predominates.

    And my I add a bit of Bronx humor in regard to your geographic indicator. Their was a contest in which first prize was an all-expense-paid week in Philly. Second prize was two all-expense-paid weeks in Philly. Is the Palestra still there ???

    11B40 (0d6d1e)

  11. I’ve been in rehab with opiate addicts. Doctors. Ophthalmologists and GPs on heroin, anesthesiologists on fentanyil. They were not chasing death, they were chasing pleasure. They were there because they got caught doped up on the job or diverting from patients. One claimed she was “just tired of it” but I’ve learned not to believe what drunks and druggies say. They would get into arguments with the relapse counselor about whether they could still drink alcohol after they “graduated” since it was not their monkey. They did not dare ask about marijuana, even though they had indulged in that too, because that would “flunk” them.

    Opiates produce pleasure. A lot of pleasure. It’s what causes addicts to continue using them to the point of dependence. If they wanted to die, they would race motorcycles. Occam’s razor. When dependence comes, and tolerance, they increase their dosages to achieve pleasure, because “normalcy” by maintenance doses is not enough, until they increase them so much that it kills them.

    nk (dbc370)

  12. That makes sense to me, nk. People usually do what pleases them and avoid what doesn’t.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  13. His body remained in his apartment for hours after it was discovered – it was still there by the 6 pm news yesterday.

    They were investigating -I guess against the possibility of murder or an unknown non-obvious cause of death. He has a needle sticking into him. What does that mean? He didn’t even have time to withdraw it?

    He was 45 years old – overdoses probably get easier as someone gets older – could it be that in a younger person a person senses somethinbg wrong earlier, or breathing doesn’t shit down so
    easily?

    The biggest danger of (illegal) heroin is that no one can be sure of the dosage of somethinbg bought on the street. Also maybe, if he hadn’t taken any for a long time, maybe he misjudged how much he needed and how much was safe.

    He had 8 bags in his apartment, 3 usused or it it 5 unused? One of the brands was Ace of Spades and another Ace of Hearts. The big drug dealers trademark them (unofficially, of course.)

    He was said to be drug free for 23 years until last year. Then he went through a treatment program. But these things don’t work the way like administering antibiotics works against an infection.

    His last known contact with anyone was at 8 pm on the phone Saturday. He was supposed to meet his three chldren on Sunday, and one thing led to another to cause his body to be discovered.

    He is not divorced – he and his common law wife of 15 years (one newspaper called her) never got married.

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  14. I think one of the problems here is that what is, at one time, a lethal dose, may, at another time, not be enough for them to feel anything.

    The story about heroin is that the dose always has to be increased to get a “high”.

    Long distance marathon runners are said to get a similar high after they’ve run enough miles..

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  15. Reality is for people who can’t handle drugs.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  16. One of my in-laws killed himself by ODing. I didn’t know him, but it tore his parents up, needless to say.

    I don’t know if the issue of suicide is separate from drug use. I can’t separate them in my mind, because it always seemed to me that once you start, that’s where you’re headed. Addict/suicide.

    I’ve known two other people who may have killed themselves, but they at least were considerate enough to make it look like legitimate accidents. Which I know is morbid of me, but I noticed a difference in how the people who remained behind were able to live with the damage. It was still difficult, but maybe they did just fall asleep at the wheel or went for a swim. No note. People could at least cling to the thought that they hadn’t let their loved one down in some way. A drug overdose seems to me to be a horribly self-indulgent way to end it all.

    Sorry.

    Steve57 (5b9a77)

  17. No, Sammy. Opiates, benzodiazepines, and alcohol are nothing like a runner’s high. Or sex. Or riding motorcycles. Or having a tiramisu with an espresso and a glass of spring water on a summer evening overlooking the Ionian Sea. Or holding your newborn baby. I’ve done all those things and I can tell the difference. The drugs and the alcohol are poisons which alter your brain (and the rest of your body but that’s besides the point). They are not your normal physiology and psychology responding to stimuli which evolution thought it would be a good idea to make pleasurable to you.

    nk (dbc370)

  18. Yes, that is correct, Kevin. part Mockingjay part one is “in the can”.

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  19. “A drug overdose seems to me to be a horribly self-indulgent way to end it all.”

    Steve57 – One method of suicide is no more self-indulgent than another, IMHO.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  20. He was one of the few actual actors out there.

    Jim S. (94591b)

  21. the best thing about celebrity death is the teachable moment it provides…
    Comment by felipe (b5e0f4) — 2/3/2014 @ 8:04 am

    But, how many teachable moments did the deaths of Janis Joplen, Jimmy Hendrix, and before them, The Bird et al, provide to the Arts Community?
    They may be able to learn their lines, but have a hard time learning from history.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  22. Watch “Owning Mahoney”, true story of a Canadian bank employee who embezzled lotsa money and hit the casinos in AC and Las Vegas over a long period of time. He was excellent as the embezzler/OCD gambler.

    Colonel Haiku (c840dd)

  23. Yes, Colonel, it was a great movie – especially the scene where he has to contend with his girlfriend who interrupts his gambling.

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  24. You never cease to amaze, Sammy.

    Colonel Haiku (c840dd)

  25. Ace of AoS has apparently denied all culpability.

    Colonel Haiku (c840dd)

  26. Daley, I have to go with Steve’s contention that deth-by-heroin is self-indulgent. I know that is not precisely what he said, it is just the way I took his meaning. I asked myself. “What could be more self-indulgent”? I came away with nothing else – but perhaps I lack sufficient imagination and worldy knowledge.

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  27. Indeed, askeptic, how many will it take?
    “The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind”.

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  28. Well, nk, that caffeine in your espresso probably qualifies as a poison. Which isn’t a bad thing. I know a little bit of radiation is actually good for you. I just never met anyone who could do a little bit of meth. Or heroin.

    I’ve met lots of people who could put a cork back in the bottle. Or smoke a cigar once a year.

    This Philip Seymour Hoffman thing puts me in mind of my uncle. He just would not stop smoking. I think he could have stopped smoking if he had the motivation. But he lost that when my aunt died. That really took the wind out of his sails. Then when his mom, my grandmother, died he lost his last reason to live. He never had kids.

    I didn’t b**** at him, though. Except for insisting that he didn’t smoke around me when he was using the oxygen. And he had to wait until we put the guns up and docked the boat before putting whiskey in his coffee. I wasn’t ready to go.

    Maybe I should have done more. I don’t know. I’m not good at that sort of thing. He hung out with me more than any of my other brothers and sister probably because he knew I wasn’t going to try to lecture a 70 plus year old man. A retired battalion chief in the fire department who had the pleasure of pawing through pancaked cars on the 880 following the ’89 earthquake as his lovely parting gift. What can I tell him about life? Look on the bright side?

    He’d ask me if I wanted his shotgun. I’d say, yeah, if you’re not planning on using it.

    He died of a massive heart attack as he was waiting for a ride to the casino. The shotgun is nice. Actually, the shotguns. A pair of Browning Auto 5s, one Belgian light twelve and one Japanese 12ga. Magnum.

    I wish he were still here using them, though. He’d only be in his early 80s. He knew that, though. Then I let it drop. I have to admit, though, that if I could pick a way to go, quick, all of a sudden, while waiting for a ride to the casino would be high up on the list.

    Steve57 (5b9a77)

  29. “What can I tell him about life? Look on the bright side”?

    That is so true about me and my elders.

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  30. “Daley, I have to go with Steve’s contention that deth-by-heroin is self-indulgent.”

    felipe – My view is all suicides are self-indulgent. All drug overdoses are not suicides.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  31. I can see how that is true. I also agree that all suicides are self-indulgent.

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  32. Heh, maybe I should just say “splunge”?

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  33. By the way, MNKD is down 22 cents right now, but that doesn’t worry me at all. Volitility is expected of this stock during this waiting period. The losers will be the ones who sell short. Or panic and take a loss. i would buy more at this bargain price, but I am “all in” already.

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  34. The sad part to me is the death of Blockbuster. PSH has a menu of work I haven’t seen. Go to the store and pick out the video to become aquainted with this actor? Not anymore.

    One thing for certain, I won’t be dumping a bucket of money on Amazon just to catch up.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  35. 18. “A drug overdose seems to me to be a horribly self-indulgent way to end it all.”

    Steve57 – One method of suicide is no more self-indulgent than another, IMHO.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/3/2014 @ 11:02 am

    Single car accidents, for one. Accident of course is the wrong term if you drive into a tree or a bridge column deliberately. But if you don’t leave a note, those types of deaths are always ruled accidental. It may be cold comfort, but the loved ones aren’t left searching their souls wondering if there was something they could have done. Because it’s just an accident.

    But, basically you’re right. I have a friend who hates his dad. Who supposedly killed himself by swimming out into the ocean. They found his clothes on the beach but they never found the body. So my friend thinks his dad faked his death. That’s how self-indulgent he believes his dad to have been. He’d run out on his money troubles and his family, but he wouldn’t actually go through with the suicide.

    Consequently my friend suffers no such conflicts about his dad. But my in-laws, on he other hand, suffered terribly. They still do.

    Steve57 (5b9a77)

  36. 34. Comment by papertiger (c2d6da) — 2/3/2014 @ 11:47 am

    The sad part to me is the death of Blockbuster. PSH has a menu of work I haven’t seen. Go to the store and pick out the video to become aquainted with this actor? Not anymore.

    Isn’t there Netflix, and Ebay? And public libraries, too.

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  37. I understand that, in Mockingjay, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s character will be played by Paul Walker.

    CrustyB (5a646c)

  38. Comment by Steve57 (5b9a77) — 2/3/2014 @ 11:30 am

    He’d only be in his early 80s.

    That would be about the same age as william Shatner, and Leonard Nimoy. Leonard Nimoy is not in good shape, although he still travels.

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  39. Comment by 11B40 (0d6d1e) — 2/3/2014 @ 9:19 am

    Finally, there was the overall contribution of heroin addicts and their supply chains in the destruction of large swaths of the Bronx, a kind of Dresden-lite treatment if you like, during the “60s and ’70s.

    They burned down the buildings, after they were mostly vacant because of the high crime, to get the copper and brass. There was also some digging up of copper wires buried in the street. These were probably done by older addicts, who’d been in jail for other kinds of crimes.

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  40. 37. …That would be about the same age as william Shatner, and Leonard Nimoy. Leonard Nimoy is not in good shape, although he still travels.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7) — 2/3/2014 @ 12:01 pm

    That’s what my uncle was worried about. I don’t even know if the smoking caused his emphysema. He did after all join the fire department back in the ’50s. I don’t believe the equipment could have protected him from all the fumes. I have a smokers cough, and I don’t smoke. (Yeah, I’ve had like 10 cigars in my entire life.) I breathed some pretty toxic air when I was in the Navy.

    He was always an active guy, and when he started having trouble getting around it really bothered him. Plus my grandmother didn’t help. She was a wonderful lady who lived to be 100 and a day, but I’d come home on leave and she’d fill me in on how much it sucked getting old. As a matter of fact, she advised me not to do it.

    My uncle saw her just about every day.

    Steve57 (5b9a77)

  41. Useful info. Lucky me I found your web site by chance, and I’m stunned why this accident did not came about earlier!
    I bookmarked it.

    Bob from Ausfencing (32f1dc)

  42. Philip Seymour Hoffman memorial fridge magnet – limited time only $4.99

    Ebay is hosting a cottage industry of scraps, posters, bar napkins, news clippings, that Hoffman supposedly scribbled on.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  43. The bright side is his suffering is over.

    Peyton Manning’s suffering continues.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  44. Drugs are destructive, they ruin lives, they incur collateral damage upon families and society, and their market is the driving force for diabolical narco-terrorist gangs.

    That being said, I think we should consider a little period of mourning for the depose of Hoffman’s soul before we engage in public sanctimonious judgment of Hoffman.
    There are lots of outstanding people who get caught up in drugs and booze. Likewise, there are lots of “clean” people who are first rate jerks.

    Many of the addicts I know would love to be free from their addiction.
    But that’s that little inherent definition of the word, ‘addiction’—their brain chemistry has been altered and therefore they are addicted.

    Should they have not dipped their big toe in the water in the first place ?
    Sure, but everyone’s brain chemistry is different. Some people can try a drug, and walk away from it. Some people are hooked after the first day.
    Some people experiment with hard drugs just to have a little fun at a party or whatever.
    But some people experiment with drugs because they’re desperately trying to self-medicate. It may be a bad choice, but that doesn’t necessarily make them a bad person who we should be dismissive of after their passing.

    R.I.P., Mr. Hoffman.

    Elephant Stone (9d30f3)

  45. “…Bronx, a kind of Dresden-lite…”

    Paul Newman movie: Fort Apache, The Bronx!

    askeptic (2bb434)

  46. Never mourn the passing of a prominent Progressive.

    Unless family, not acceptable. (not saying celebrate either but …)

    They create too much damage and care not a whit about it. Hard to shed tears.

    Rodney King's Spirit (ca9e04)

  47. “That being said, I think we should consider a little period of mourning for the depose of Hoffman’s soul before we engage in public sanctimonious judgment of Hoffman.”

    ES – Just another symptom of the Nidal Hasanization of our society.

    h/t Mark

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  48. That being said, I think we should consider a little period of mourning for the depose of Hoffman’s soul before we engage in public sanctimonious judgment of Hoffman.

    Sorry but shouldn’t there be a rule about public sanctimony more fitting with the truism that everyone’s brain chemistry is different?
    Cause there’s nothing more sanctimonious than coming in saying how dare you speak ill of that dead guy who pissed away a career that most other actors would have died for, family, community stature, all to chase the dragon.

    Still waiting for the OK to come down so I can trash (define really) Ted Kennedy.

    Is it too soon?

    Face it. Life is for the living. If PSH cared even a little what others thought of him we wouldn’t be talking about him, because he would still be alive, negotiating his deal on Hunger Games 3.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  49. Papertiger, you my permission to trash the Ted. It is long overdue.

    felipe (6100bc)

  50. “Still waiting for the OK to come down so I can trash (define really) Ted Kennedy.”

    papertiger – That guy with the ginormous head who was kicked out of Harvard for cheating, drowned a babe he was driving home from party who was not his wife when ran off the road drunk, notorious philanderer and booze hound? That Ted Kennedy?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  51. Lily Munster fridge magnet (spider web bikini) – Eat your heart out, Morticia.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  52. oh, my goodness, I almost forgot about PSH’s excellent performance in A Late quartet!

    felipe (6100bc)

  53. Daley, you left out the “waitress-sandwich” maker part.

    felipe (6100bc)

  54. “Paul Newman movie: Fort Apache, The Bronx!”

    askeptic – Memories. I had an audit client in the late 1970s in the Fort Apache area. Scared the crap out of me driving there that the beater I was driving with the cracked block was going to break down in an inconvenient place. Sub-Skanky looking hookers huddled around oil drum fires waiting for truckers to stop, the burned out buildings, etc., etc.

    It just doesn’t get any better than that!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  55. Re: #48-49

    Naw. Somethings are best to do, when the iron is hot.

    I was cock blocked. I’m over it now.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  56. papertiger,

    Friend, the reason we should allow for a mourning period is out of respect for the Hoffman family.

    There will be plenty of time for sanctimony !
    Or something.

    Elephant Stone (9d30f3)

  57. Philip Seymour Hoffman is dead and Adam Sandler is still making movies. Doesn’t seem fair.

    Chuck Bartowski (11fb31)

  58. I somehow doubt that anyone’s comments on this thread will have any impact on those close to this gentleman. They’re going to have to endure quite a bit, unfortunately. It’s the down side of fame. We already know details such as what drugs were found in his apartment, how many bags of heroin he had, that the syringe was still in his arm, etc.

    I don’t think it’s sanctimonious to observe that ODing is a very self-indulgent way to kill yourself. I think that’s by definition true and not at all judgmental. I’ve known two families that had to deal with the aftermath of a death by a drug overdose. In one instance, it was a guy who took too many prescription sleeping pills. In that situation the family could at least console themselves that he wasn’t trying to kill himself, that it was just an accident. It isn’t like he downed the whole bottle. And no one could believe he would deliberately put his wife and child through that experience.

    In the other case, though, the guy was an addict who overdosed on some illegal drugs. There was no doubt, he died chasing a high. That was harder for the family to take because in addition to dealing with the loss, they also had to wrestle with the idea that there might have been something they could have done to stop it. They couldn’t chalk it up to just a tragic accident.

    And when they weren’t wondering if there was more they could have done, there was quite a bit of anger. They felt betrayed. Again, I’m not passing judgment. That’s how they felt.

    At least they didn’t have to read or see all the sordid details every time they turned on TV or passed a newsstand.

    Steve57 (5b9a77)

  59. Steve57,

    Friend, as best we know at this time, Hoffman’s OD was unintentional.
    I’m not playing a game of semantics, but you did just write “…that ODing is a very self-indulgent way to kill yourself.”

    When someone dies of an unintentional OD, we normally don’t say that they killed themself.

    Elephant Stone (9d30f3)

  60. I’ve seen teh needle and the damage done
    A little part of it in everyone
    But every junkie’s like a setting Sun

    Colonel Haiku (c840dd)

  61. ES If it’s any consolation, I have no idea what daleyrocks meant by “the Nidal Hasanization of our society”.

    Over my head. Above my paygrade.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  62. #56… Yer right, doesn’t seem fair, Chuck.

    Colonel Haiku (c840dd)

  63. If someone were to fall asleep on a pitched roof, fall off and breaks their neck, kill themselves in other words, they deserve to be mocked.

    I can see calling it another way if said person was installed in that precarious position by a second party.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  64. Use of Drugs is usually a self-hate thing… just my opinion. At least that’s the way the usage evolves. What starts out as a good time turns around and begins eating away at the user. I’ve had friends who grew up and out of the lifestyle and I’ve had friends who didn’t. One who didn’t had a great job with one of SoCal’s Major League Baseball teams, lost that job and his wife and kids and became a sleep on a park bench drunk who died of chromium poisoning six years ago.

    Colonel Haiku (c840dd)

  65. It never ceases to amaze me how guys like Hoffman, who have the world by the cajoles, who are part and parcel of the 1%, who make more money for one move than most people earn in a lifetime (doing much harder work) manage to screw up not only their own lives but those of the people around them. These me, me, me actors have somehow risen to the top of our social strata by living vicariously through the parts they play. So now he’s dead at 46. Wow, what an accomplishment. I guess it just goes to show all the money in the world can’t buy off stupid.

    Hoagie (be9286)

  66. Yes, I wrote that ODing is a self-indulgent way to kill yourself. But I see that as an objective fact, not a value judgment. I don’t know how else to put it, other than that they killed themselves. Sure, they didn’t intend to. Usually. But it’s like playing Russian Roulette every time you stick that needle in your arm. I’m sure Mr. Hoffman was smart enough to know that.

    I also think it’s fair to say that PSH wasn’t thinking about anyone else when he decided to get high. He may have been the nicest guy in the world. I’m not even suggesting that he was a selfish guy; I clearly didn’t know him. Just that, at that moment, he wasn’t thinking about anybody else. The one constant among the addicts I’ve known, and they come from all walks of life, is that when they needed a fix that was all they were thinking about.

    In my view the relationship to ODing and deliberate suicide is like the relationship between manslaughter and murder. People who are convicted of manslaughter didn’t mean to kill anybody. But they did kill someone, even if it was unintentional.

    Steve57 (5b9a77)

  67. Maybe rich celebrities have more ways to go wrong.

    Although that maybe isn’t true – most drug addicts are not like that. But they are living all their life in a bad place.

    Celebrities get exposed to a lot of things – a lot of opportunities – that maybe weren’t around where they came from.

    Sammy Finkelman (19c914)

  68. From the CBS Evening News, Monday February 3, 2014:

    There were 70 drug packets in his apartment (not 8, as previously reported)

    The door to his apartment was double locked (which they say indicated he was alone – wouldn’t it only indicate that if nobody had a key that could lock that lock from the outside?)

    The coroner has not issued any report, but may tomorrow.

    Sammy Finkelman (19c914)

  69. “ES If it’s any consolation, I have no idea what daleyrocks meant by “the Nidal Hasanization of our society”.”

    papertiger – If it’s any consolation, I have no idea what I mean either. I stole the line from another commenter who uses it sort of as a signature. See the hat tip. It’s below my pay grade.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  70. It’s the only Moynihan catchphrase ‘defining deviancy down, legitimizing abberational and self destructive behavior, stigmatizing good behavior,

    narciso (3fec35)

  71. “It’s the only Moynihan catchphrase ‘defining deviancy down, legitimizing abberational and self destructive behavior, stigmatizing good behavior,”… this captures the essence of what contemporary liberalism promotes, just add “no personal responsibility or accountability”.

    Colonel Haiku (c840dd)

  72. Too bad he died, but it reads to me like he has been killing himself for awhile. Poor kids.

    mg (31009b)

  73. Comment by Colonel Haiku (c840dd) — 2/3/2014 @ 3:21 pm

    Who promised that Life Was Fair?

    askeptic (2bb434)

  74. Yes, that’s how I see it mg.

    Not to keep going over plowed ground, but I don’t see how else to put it other than that he killed himself. According to a store manager who saw PSH shortly before he died, the guy looked grey, he was sweating, and overall “like s***.”

    In addition to the heroin itself, when you buy drugs on the street you have no idea what else is in there. Apparently the cops suspect that he may have gotten hold of a lethal strain of heroin that contains fentanyl.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/03/fentanyl-laced-heroin-deaths_n_4716453.html

    Fentanyl, which is typically prescribed to cancer patients as a last resort, can be 10 to 100 times stronger than morphine, according to CNN. The laced heroin has been sold under street names like “Bud Ice” and “Theraflu.”

    I can see calling an OD an accident if the drug is prescription or over the counter and you have some reason to be using it. Then, yes, it’s possible to screw up the dosage or use it in combination with something that you shouldn’t have. Apparently there have been some defective time-release patches containing fentanyl that have killed people even when used as prescribed.

    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/570394

    There’s no way to accidentally misuse heroin, though. Any use is misuse.

    Steve57 (5b9a77)

  75. “Who promised that Life Was Fair?”

    Comment by askeptic (2bb434)

    The Band did, askeptic… no, wait… they said it’s a carnival.

    Colonel Haiku (c840dd)

  76. Like Wendy Davis never said, the fish has to ride the bicycle down the mountain on top of the rockslide before it knows what will happen to it, and even when it hits bottom it might still not know. That’s how drugs, including alcohol, work. I told you about anesthesiologists who took fentanyl. You cannot even say that they thought they could control in themselves because they could titrate it in patients. They simply did not f***ing know what they were doing and what they were in for.

    I suppose you could say that substance abusers score high on novelty seeking and low on harm avoidance — a combination of personality traits commonly found in heroes, criminals and idiots. But that’s about it.

    Did you know that Evel Knievel had 435 bone fractures by age 38? And even then, his semi-retirement was likely due to the injury his cameraman suffered on his last stunt and not fear for himself?

    nk (dbc370)

  77. He was a great talent, however the policy aspect is something else entirely.

    http://bearingarms.com/hypocrisy-on-drugs-and-guns-follows-philip-seymour-hoffman-to-the-grave/

    narciso (3fec35)

  78. These me, me, me actors have somehow risen to the top of our social strata by living vicariously through the parts they play. So now he’s dead at 46. Wow, what an accomplishment.

    Sometimes very creative people are also very unstable, and the two may be related. They live life outside the normal envelope, good and bad.

    This isn’t to excuse, but to explain.

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  79. My daughter asked me, “How do you know Plutarch Heavensbee?” She knows I haven’t seen The Hunger Games. I’m going to share this quote from Jackie Mason with her on Facebook and tell her that actors are not the characters they play. http://athousandcuts.blogspot.com/2006/11/theyre-basically-morons.html

    nk (dbc370)

  80. I don’t know if the issue of suicide is separate from drug use. I can’t separate them in my mind, because it always seemed to me that once you start, that’s where you’re headed. Addict/suicide.

    The general issue is the difference between “serious” addicts and minor addicts.

    The difference is in the inherently addictive behavior. Some people are “natural” addicts, while others are not.

    Most drugs, excluding alcohol and nicotine, have a “half life” — that is, the user will use the drug for a period of time, then taper off steadily afterwards… assuming it doesn’t kill them.

    MOST drugs don’t kill inherently, only if you have NO control whatsoever over your usage — hence if you’re naturally addictive or not. Marijuana and LSD tend to not be deadly. Coke may be, but that’s a complete crap shoot kind of thing and it generally does not. Heroin and meth users tend to use until self-destruction.

    The “half life” of Marijuana is about 5 years. Coke is about 2.5 years. LSD is about 18 months. Heroine is about a year. Not sure what the figure is for meth.

    Smock Puppet, Gadfly, Racist-Sexist Thug, and Bon Vivant All In One Package (225d0d)

  81. Most drugs, excluding alcohol and nicotine, have a “half life” — that is, the user will use the drug for a period of time, then taper off steadily afterwards… assuming it doesn’t kill them.

    Sometimes there’s option C; none of the above.

    Supporting the habit can land you in prison. Which is a pretty sudden way to quit (although I fully realize that getting locked up doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to stop using).

    A good friend and business associate tells me how relieved he was when the cops showed up at this door to tell him son had been arrested. He had expected for years that the cops would show up at his door about his son, but he was convinced that he’d be identifying a body. His reaction to finding out that his son had been arrested for possession and fencing some property he had stolen from dad’s own house was to say, “Oh, thank God!”

    Five years in prison cleaned his son up.

    I suppose that’s one of the reasons why I have a hard time distinguishing drug use, hard drug use, from out-and-out suicide.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  82. hey you wanna come over and do some heroin? maybe play a little scrabble?

    Plus I have ice cream

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  83. I would, happy, but the damn syringes keep knocking over the tiles.

    I would say we could play scrabble on meth, but I have to shoot the dog.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  84. ES – Just another symptom of the Nidal Hasanization of our society.

    No, daleyrocks, it’s more an example of the Obama-getting-Nobel-ization of society.

    Or it’s sort of reminiscent to me of all the commotion that Tina Fey generated from her impersonation of Sarah Palin a few years ago, by way of the lousy, crummy “Saturday Night Live” show — in which someone or something is made a big fuss over, and I want to go “huh?!”

    And, yea, Hoffman was a fine actor–eg, those exact words below. And, yes, his premature death is tragic. But the movies he’s closely identified with are still quite obscure or oh-so-relevant esoteric to me. In quite a few instances they’re also so damn depressing — so cinema-verite stark and dreary (their subject matter reminds me of hipsters who love wearing nothing but black, because they think that particular look is a sign of one’s seriousness and sophistication) — that I too might want to join America’s bandwagon of oh-so-trendy, emperor’s-new-clothes dysfunction.

    nytimes.com, February 3, 2013:

    It was clear, at least since he won the Oscar in 2006 for “Capote,” that Philip Seymour Hoffman was an unusually fine actor. Really though, it was clear long before that, depending on when and where you started paying attention.

    Maybe it was when he and John C. Reilly burned up the stage at the Circle in the Square in the 2000 revival of Sam Shepard’s “True West.” Or maybe it was even earlier, in the wrenching telephone scene in “Magnolia,” the disturbing telephone scenes in “Happiness,” the sad self-loathing of “Boogie Nights” or the smug self-possession of “The Talented Mr. Ripley” that brought the news of his special combination of talent, discipline and fearlessness.

    His dramatic roles in middle-sized movies (“Capote,” “25th Hour,” “Doubt,” “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead,” “The Savages” and “Synecdoche, New York,” to keep the list at a manageable half-dozen for now) were distinguished by how far he was willing to go into the souls of flawed, even detestable characters. As the heavy, the weird friend or the volatile co-worker in a big commercial movie he could offer not only comic relief but also the specific pleasure that comes from encountering an actor who takes his art seriously no matter the project. He may have specialized in unhappiness, but you were always glad to see him.

    What he did in “The Master,” his fifth film with the writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson, was even grander. It may take the world a while to catch up with that journey into dark, uncharted zones of the American character, but once it does it will discover, in Lancaster Dodd, an archetype of corrupted idealism, entrepreneurial zeal and authentic spiritual insight.

    Mark (6cdc70)

  85. Another laughable aspect of the movie industry — and maybe Hoffman to me is just one more manifestation of, or more collateral damage associated with, “Hollyweird” — is it loves to be so crude, raw, unrestrained, hip, relevant and supposedly honest about our society. Yet in almost all instances it can’t even delve into the contradictions and idiocy of the liberal or leftwing mindset that infects its ranks.

    Mark (6cdc70)

  86. The Master was fun and deeply American

    I liked it more better than I understood it

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  87. syringe just by itself is 11 points and that’s with no special squares or hookers involved

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  88. Comment by Steve57 (5b9a77) — 2/3/2014 @ 3:45 pm

    But it’s like playing Russian Roulette every time you stick that needle in your arm.

    Not Russian roulette. Not even standard roulette.

    Conventional Russian roulette has odds of one in 6 (16.66%) of killing. Casino roulette has odd of about 2.5% (1 in 38) Here the odds are much smaller.

    I don’t think a majority addicts who have been addicted for years wind up dying of overdoses.

    The odds must be on the order of 1 in a thousand.

    If, let’s say, one in three addicts died of an overdose, which is probably high, after an average of five years, which is probably low, and bought separate packages 200 times a year, which is probably high, you’d have this happening after 3,000 tries. So 1 chance in 1,000 is high.

    Then there’s the risk of AIDS from re-using needles that somebody else used. That was pretty high, almost inevitable, in the 1990s.

    I’m sure Mr. Hoffman was smart enough to know that.

    He blundered, somehow. It might be some inexperience in recent years with buying heroin on the street.

    Sammy Finkelman (b4888e)

  89. Steve57:

    In my view the relationship to ODing and deliberate suicide is like the relationship between manslaughter and murder.

    Manslaughter reflects, at least, a deliberate attempt to hurt someone.

    This is merely risky, like skiing. Especially without a helmet.

    People can get killed doing that too – one of Robert F. Kennedy’s son was killed that way.

    And another died of a drug overdose, albeit not of heroin, but cocaine, Demerol, and Mellaril.

    He had also, years before, nearly died swimming, but was rescued by his father the day before the California primary in 1968.

    He also was a passenger in a jeep driven by his brother, Joe Kennedy II, which paralyzed his girlfriend and broke his veterbrae. The painkillers he was given started him on his path to drug addiction it is said.

    Sammy Finkelman (b4888e)

  90. Comment by Smock Puppet, Gadfly, Racist-Sexist Thug, and Bon Vivant All In One Package (225d0d) — 2/3/2014 @ 8:06 pm

    Most drugs, excluding alcohol and nicotine, have a “half life” — that is, the user will use the drug for a period of time, then taper off steadily afterwards… assuming it doesn’t kill them.

    I’m not sure about that, but also that might be a bit of a truism. People worry about their health more as they age, and the effect changes.

    Sammy Finkelman (b4888e)

  91. Marijuana and LSD tend to not be deadly.

    I’ll tell you what I sort of know.

    Marijuana destroys tissue, often in the brain. It ought to kill like tobacco, but probably hasn’t been stuied that way, and use may be more intermittent.

    LSD doesn’t kill?? It only tends to destroy the separation between dreams and reality, in some people for good. They dream while they are awake.

    Coke may be, but that’s a complete crap shoot kind of thing and it generally does not.

    Some people have a metabolic defect which causes them to be be killed the first time they take cocaine. Otherwise it creates heart disease. It also severely damaes the brain, and creates asituation where a person feels uncomfortable that cannot be relieved even by taking the drug. The reason is a oerson is addicted not to cocaine, but to his own dopamine, and really bad changes happen when it is forcibly released.

    Heroin and meth users tend to use until self-destruction.

    Heroin, if not for the problem that it is an addiction, which means it becomes an additional bodily necessity, like food and water, and the problem of overdoses, where one’s day’s overdose is another day’s insignificant effect, and the problem of contracting diseases from needles other people have used, is actually a pretty safe drug to use. Methadone is somewhat more dangerous, as going cold turkey could kill

    Methamphetamines may depend on how regularly they are taken.

    You didn’t mention metabolic steroids, probably because they never got put into the sae category legally.

    Sammy Finkelman (b4888e)

  92. My fave PSH movie is “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead.” PSH plays a deperate heroin-using embezzler. This movie has the same dramatic intensity that most Sidney Lumet films have. And it has Marisa Tomei naked.

    gp (5a38d9)

  93. Thanks for the clarification, Mark.

    Specializing in unhappiness“. Type casting in other words.
    PSH was a long term addict, per Sammy’s research.
    (Sammy, what are the odds if the guy locks himself in a room with 70 drug packets, and a “do not disturb” sign?)

    You know what that means? It means he wasn’t such a good actor after all.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  94. PSH sems to have relapsed for about three months this year, and two weeks ago told publisher John Arundel at the Sundance Film Festival that he was a heroin addict. (he looked so bad that he had not originally recognized him. He added that he had just gotten oput of rehab, which may have been a lie.)

    He semi-separated from the mother of his three children and rented an apartment about two blocks away. My guess would be she didn’t wnat any illegal drugs in the apartment they lived in.

    I m thinking maybe he forgot he had already injected that day, and/or was the combination of heroin with other drugs, and the heroin itself may ahve been laced with fentanyl, which is increasingly common and causing deaths. The police are trying to trace the heroin.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  95. Waitin’ for teh Man…

    Colonel Haiku (24650e)

  96. “I’M JUST GETTING STARTED!!!!!!”

    Hoffman played weaselly rich preppie George Willis, Jr. while Al Pacino absolutely destroyed establishment as Lt. Col. Frank Slade in 1992 film “Scent of A Woman.”

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  97. More self destructive behavior being contemplated;

    http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/2014/02/menendez-sanctions-after-talks-fail.html

    narciso (3fec35)

  98. Comment by Sammy @87:

    But it’s like playing Russian Roulette every time you stick that needle in your arm.

    Not Russian roulette. Not even standard roulette.

    Conventional Russian roulette has odds of one in 6 (16.66%) of killing. Casino roulette has odd of about 2.5% (1 in 38) Here the odds are much smaller.

    I don’t think a majority addicts who have been addicted for years wind up dying of overdoses.

    The odds must be on the order of 1 in a thousand.

    Sammy, you have no idea if that’s heroin in that needle, heroin cut with Lord knows, or something else entirely. Since heroin addicts can’t know what exactly they’re injecting into themselves the odds are always 50/50. Because maybe it won’t be the heroin that kills you. Lately it’s been the fentanyl.

    Sammy @88:

    Manslaughter reflects, at least, a deliberate attempt to hurt someone.

    No, involuntary manslaughter doesn’t need to involve a deliberate attempt to hurt someone at all. That’s not an element of the crime.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  99. “Since heroin addicts can’t know what exactly they’re injecting into themselves the odds are always 50/50.”

    Steve57 – Half the heroin addicts in this country die every time they shoot up? Don’t think so.

    I think your logic needs some reworking.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  100. I don’t think so, daley.

    There are a lot of variables when it comes to ODing. PSH was apparently drinking heavily in addition to going back to heroin; that’s a bad combination. Apparently drinking while using heroin is a leading factor in lethal overdoses. I also doubt any of the other varieties of drugs found in his apartment are compatible with heroin. Plus he had relapsed. As nk has pointed out, the odds also go up for someone to OD after a period of abstinence. That’s why prisoners are at a high risk to OD after they’re released. Then there are the risks of not being able to know the purity of the drug, or how lethal whatever the dealer used to cut it happens to be. Plus, when users change the circumstances in which they use drugs, that can increase the odds of ODing. And PSH had recently split from his partner and moved out by himself.

    I don’t see how any heroin user can claim that their odds of ODing are any better than 50/50.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  101. *I don’t see how any heroin user can claim that their odds of not ODing are any better than 50/50.*

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  102. *I don’t see how any heroin user can claim that their odds of not ODing are any better than 50/50.*

    Steve57 – I fully understand what you are saying, but the proof to your claim would be if half the heroin addicts in America are dying every time they use the drug.

    Unless you have some startling proof to the contrary I am pretty damn sure that is not the case.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  103. 107. …the proof to your claim would be if half the heroin addicts in America are dying every time they use the drug.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/4/2014 @ 7:36 pm

    I agree that would be the standard of proof if all things were equal. But all things are not equal. There are too many variables. Many of which are impossible to quantify. For starters each time somebody shoots up they’re taking a leap of faith that the particular batch of what they were told by I’m sure the very scrupulous, ethical people in the drug trade is heroin, will in fact be heroin. Or at least more or less heroin. Then it could be the near beer of heroin or the everclear of heroin.

    Given all the variables I do not see how anyone can possibly calculate the odds of something going wrong in any particular instance of drug use. Consequently, I have to conclude the odds stand at 50/50. Either it will go wrong, or it won’t. Not to move the goalposts, but just to acknowledge where the goalposts actually stand for accuracy’s sake, not all overdoses are fatal. Even deliberate attempts at suicide by overdose are often not fatal. If it does prove fatal that takes a couple of days and I’m told it’s not pleasant. Still, the aftermath of even a survivable drug overdose is not a good outcome. Heart failure, brain damage, not my idea of a good time.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  104. Most drugs, excluding alcohol and nicotine, have a “half life” — that is, the user will use the drug for a period of time, then taper off steadily afterwards… assuming it doesn’t kill them.

    I’m not sure about that, but also that might be a bit of a truism. People worry about their health more as they age, and the effect changes.

    No, actually — FWIW — that was based on a study of longer term usage of street drugs — not that I can cite it for you, but you/someone might go looking for it — the numbers I spec’d are my recollection of a brief summary of it. It’s probably 15, maybe 20 years old now. Certainly before 2000.

    It did seem to match what usage patterns I’d noticed, too, in people who used drugs (though not heroin. I’ve never known anyone who used heroin as far as I was aware of it) — but acid, grass, and coke, that seemed to fit the pattern defined. “Anecdotal confirmation”, for what that may be worth.

    Steady use for around the “half life” period, then relatively rapid decline and finally tapering to “rare” usage.

    Alcohol and nicotine were the only drugs that violated that pattern.

    Smock Puppet, Gadfly, Racist-Sexist Thug, and Bon Vivant All In One Package (225d0d)

  105. The heroin PSH had was 59% pure, the highest police ever see, but did not contan fentanyl.

    The person arrested was someone who had sold other heroin to PSH months ago.

    This he may have gotten Saturday night. He withdrew $1200 from ATM’s in 6 installments.

    Sammy Finkelman (dfe091)

  106. 111. The heroin PSH had was 59% pure, the highest police ever see, but did not contan fentanyl.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (dfe091) — 2/7/2014 @ 12:10 pm

    Recently. They’ve seen higher.

    http://articles.philly.com/1993-04-27/news/25979171_1_potent-heroin-high-purity-philadelphia-police

    There is so much available at such high purity that some dealers are literally giving the stuff away, according to Philadelphia police narcotics Lt. John Gallo.

    “They’ll give out samples to establish a new corner,” he said. “They’ll give people a taste of high purity, like 80 to 90 percent, to get their business. Then they’ll gradually cut it back.”

    Depending on where they are in the country, police may still be seeing heroin with a higher purity then say the 63% they’re seeing in New Jersey.

    The problem with the fentanyl was that the dealers were cutting the heroin themselves. Professional cutters try to enhance the high and tailor it to how somebody is going to use it. Differently for somebody who’ll snort it as opposed to shooting it. But professional cutters are expensive; thousands of dollars per kilo.

    So dealers eliminate that step and try to cut it themselves.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  107. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/07/opinion/how-to-stop-heroin-deaths.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

    Overdoses often take place over one to three hours. People just slowly stop breathing; often they are assumed to be sleeping deeply, or they are alone.

    The most frustrating part is that each of these deaths is preventable, because there is an antidote to heroin overdose that is nearly universally effective. Naloxone, an opioid antidote, is a simple compound that has been in clinical use for more than 30 years. It can be administered via needle or as a nasal spray, and it works by displacing heroin from its receptors in the brain and rapidly restoring the overdose victim to consciousness and normal breathing…In New York State, it has been legal to distribute naloxone to ordinary citizens since 2006. But the distribution has to be done with medical supervision…

    … Some people might argue that the widespread distribution of a safe, effective and inexpensive antidote might actually encourage drug use. But that’s like suggesting that air bags and seatbelts encourage unsafe driving.

    [Well, it does, but that's not a good argument against having seat belts and airbags installed.]

    A new bill….on Tuesday…passed the State Senate Health Committee. [Probably another New york Stgate 1-House bill that gives people false hope of soemthing becoming law] It would increase access to the antidote by allowing doctors and nurses to write standing orders — prescriptions that can be used for anyone — and issue them to community-based drug treatment programs. The programs would then train people on the signs of overdose and provide them with the naloxone kits. This means that the programs would not have to have a doctor present to distribute the antidote, overcoming one major hurdle that impedes widespread distribution.

    That still wouldn’t have helped PSH. It might need to be available over the counter. Or maybe should be given out by Alcoholiocs/Narcotics anonymous. PSH did attend one session jan 24 or 26.

    By thw way, we’re pretty slow about buprenorphine.

    http://buprenorphine.samhsa.gov/about.html

    buprenorphine is safer in overdose than opioid full agonists…. Respiratory depression from buprenorphine (or buprenorphine/naloxone) overdose is less likely than from other opioids.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  108. Unless you have shot heroin you have no understanding of what it is . Once you overdose and wake up in an ambulance you finally understand what it does. If you are lucky like me, and make it to the wake up moment, you learn to only shoot a small amount at first then boost it on the next hit. This way you can always get the “is” and not that pesky “does” ever again.

    highpockets (3947ce)

  109. You may be the voice of experience. Dunno; not saying I have any reason to doubt you bet then it’s the internet. Personally, I have no desire to find out what heroin does. But if what you’re saying is true, that you have to roll the dice and find out if you live through that first OD to really know what heroin does, then you’re saying what I was trying to say when I said the odds are 50/50. Maybe if you survive the first near death experience through some form of luck you won’t get burned the next time, but it sounds like a hard way to learn.

    Steve57 (71fc09)


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