Dr. Aaron's Blog

Philip Seymour Hoffman – And We Lose

October 10, 2015 Addiction, All, Naturopathic Medicine, Recovery coaching by Aaron Van Gaver

Philip Seymour Hoffman was an incredibly talented young man. He was a successful actor, writer, director and producer. He had a beautiful partner of 14 years and together they had a son and two daughters.

He was born in 1967 in New York and in 2014; at only 46 years old, he was found dead in the same city alone with a needle still in his arm.

Philip Hoffman lived in an apartment that cost $10,000 per month. That is approximately what he spent on his drug habit as well. He seemed to have it all. Major awards and honors for his incredible work, a family that loved and supported him, fame, youth and money. But none of it stopped him from the evils of heroin and Oxycontin. One might ask why he died alone. His partner had stood by him for years and obviously knew of his problem. He died alone because his mistress, drugs, had her hooks in him so deeply that his partner feared for his children.

Philip Hoffman knew he was in trouble. He had been there before. At 22 years old he was already addicted and he was afraid. At that point in life it was alcohol. He stated that if he kept going, he would have drunk himself to death! He was only 22 and his career was taking off and he was afraid. That time he went for help.

Why did he not reach out this time? He had the money. He adored his family and having to leave them was devastating. He knew he was addicted and admitted it to people (even a stranger). So why did he not check into rehab?

Philip Hoffman once said that a heroin addict doesn’t need a woman, because heroin was like a sexual experience. He also stated that he measured success according to the results of his work. He hated the work, but the result of award winning and world accepted films and plays made him happy. He felt happy when others appreciated his work. He said that feeling was success. And he had awards, Oscars, and a host of beloved fans. So by his definition he was happy.

With Philip gone, I guess we will never really know. We do know there were enough drugs in his apartment to kill several men. We do know he had been seen as publicly “wasted”. In May of 2013, Philip Hoffman checked himself into rehab. He stated he had begun snorting Heroin and he knew he needed help. Ten day later he checked himself out, claiming to be clean and returned to work on the set.

Rehab is a wonderful resource for those who really want to get help. But it takes hard work and commitment. He had the motive and the money. He even had experience. But his need for the drug and his ability to acquire it quickly took over.

And we lose a wonderful person on this planet.