Hollywood and Her Addictions

3 Feb

Yesterday, we learned the sad news of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death.  From what news reports state, it was from an overdose of heroin.  Unfortunately he is not the last in the Hollywood scene that will succumb to this devastating addiction. 

Hollywood is known for it’s glamour and fame, but it holds deep, dark secrets that destroy families and lives.  Yet ,it isn’t just Hollywood where we find drug abuse and alcoholism.  It creeps into every city, every neighborhood looking for it’s next victim.

Heroin is one of the most powerful painkillers and stems from opium.  It enters the blood stream extremely fast.  The reason for it’s popularity is how fast it works and how wonderful it makes the user feel, especially those who have a difficult time dealing with emotional troubles.  It also changes brain function, which ultimately increases addiction to the substance.

“The body responds to heroin in the brain by reducing (and sometimes stopping) production of the endogenous opioids when heroin is present. Endorphins are regularly released in the brain and nerves and weaken pain. The reduced endorphin production in heroin users creates a dependence on the heroin. This is why, when users stop taking the drug, they experience pain even when there’s no physical trauma.

Opiates can change the brain stem, an area that controls automatic body functions and depress breathing.  It can change the limbic system, which controls emotions.  Opiates also block pain receptors transmitted by the spinal cord from the body.  It also slows down your circulation and heart rate.”[1]

No one is immune from adversity and temptation.   There is something for everyone it seems, but how we choose to cope and deal with our struggles and sorrows will determine our final outcome.  One of the best quotes to surface from Hoffman’s death came from Demi Lovato’s extended tweet:

“I wish more people would lose the stigma and treat addiction as the deadly and serious DISEASE that it is. Drugs are not something to glamorize in pop music or film to portray as harmless recreational fun. It’s not cute, “cool” or admire able. It’s very rare when people can actually predict their addiction and even then, you never know when too much is going to take their life or take a bad batch of whatever it is their using. It’s time people start really taking action on changing what we’re actually singing/rapping about these days because you never know if you could be glamorizing a certain drug to a first time user or alcoholic who could possibly end up dead because they end up suffering from the same deadly disease so many have already died from. This stuff is not something to mess with. Why risk it? Addiction IS a disease. Please spread the word so we can take the taboo out of discussing this illness and raising awareness to people of all ages.”[2]

Hoffman was an incredible actor, who starred and co-starred in numerous successful films such as The Hunger Games, The Master, The Ides of March, Doubt, Capote, Cold Mountain, Red Dragon, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and Magnolia.

We don’t know what his demons were, but may his soul finally be at peace.

THIS WEEK

Wednesday—article by Ozzie

Thursday—3PM/EST discussion opens

Friday—3PM/EST discussion continues

Saturday—3PM/EST discussion wraps up

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11 Responses to “Hollywood and Her Addictions”

  1. Open Book February 6, 2014 at 10:42 AM #

    Wow! I haven’t commented in forever. I hope everyone is well and today is an open discussion so I would like to begin by saying. Thank u LB for writing a very informative and respectful article. I still can’t believe he’s gone. His contribution to the arts will be greatly missed. He was one of those actors I would go see any film he was in.

    IMO narcotics, sex, alcohol and tobacco addiction is seen as a dark, filthy habit but fat, sugar and salt addictions is a huge killer that don’t have the same stigma attached to it. Yet, the obesity epidemic, diabetes and cancer has killed more people than narcotics, alcohol and tobacco. So yes, addiction needs to be dealt with but so does these companies that legally manufacture processed food with habit-forming properties and the companies that glamorize it in the media.

    • littlebells February 7, 2014 at 7:38 PM #

      Hi OB!!! Hi everyone!

      I’m glad you enjoyed the article. I was deeply saddened by his death as well, but not entirely shocked with how he died. I’m thankful that he was able to do what he loved and I hope his family find peace and comfort as time goes on.

      In regards to your comment, I think many people fear exposing flaws or accepting flaws in others. Especially flaws that are somewhat in our power to conquer and control.

  2. Open Book February 6, 2014 at 11:15 AM #

    I found Demi Lavato’s statement very thought provoking especially this part of her statement.

    “I wish more people would lose the stigma and treat addiction as the deadly and serious DISEASE that it is. Drugs are not something to glamorize in pop music or film to portray as harmless recreational fun. It’s not cute, “cool” or admire able. It’s very rare when people can actually predict their addiction and even then, you never know when too much is going to take their life or take a bad batch of whatever it is their using.”

    I was looking around the Internet and there is a lot of talk about Philip Seymour Hoffman stating he was predisposed to addiction. What does that mean? For many it’s easy to be dismissive on what happened to PSH but it should serve as a wake up call for people to educate themselves on exactly what addiction is and how it impacts them and their family and not treat PSH as a unfortunate and isolated event.

    http://www.addictionsandrecovery.org/is-addiction-a-disease.htm

    • littlebells February 7, 2014 at 7:42 PM #

      I will be back to answer this. My phone is about to die.

  3. Open Book February 6, 2014 at 11:39 AM #

    LB- Given how shocking PSH passing was. What did u learn having written and researched this article that u did not know before on this topic?

    • littlebells February 7, 2014 at 10:40 PM #

      OB, I was very interested in just how the addiction process works concerning the brain. My husband has told me repeatedly how awful heroin is (he sees it on the job all the time) and one hit will ruin you. Understanding just how it works on your nervous system made me appreciate how complex our body is and yet also how vulnerable. You can’t reverse the damages of drugs. Once it’s done it’s done. the only thing you can do is keep it from getting worse, which as you see, is proven to be almost impossible. There are those who do conquer their demons but its something that they must be constantly watching.

      • Open Book February 8, 2014 at 3:15 PM #

        Thank u LB!

      • Open Book February 8, 2014 at 3:56 PM #

        LB-

        U said: “Once it’s done it’s done. the only thing you can do is keep it from getting worse, which as you see, is proven to be almost impossible.”

        I saw a video called “The Science of Changing Your Mind” it really helped me understand a lot about overcoming some of my bad habits.

  4. Open Book February 6, 2014 at 11:58 AM #

    This was sad story to read from Aaron Sorkin because it reveals the stigma/isolation one feels from addiction like its an unusual thing when in Hollywood addiction is more common than not:

    “On breaks during rehearsals, we would sometimes slip outside our soundstage on the Paramount lot and get to swapping stories. It’s not unusual to have these mini-AA meetings — people like us are the only ones to whom tales of insanity don’t sound insane. “Yeah, I used to do that.” I told him I felt lucky because I’m squeamish and can’t handle needles. He told me to stay squeamish. And he said this: “If one of us dies of an overdose, probably 10 people who were about to won’t.” He meant that our deaths would make news and maybe scare someone clean.”

    Read more: Aaron Sorkin: Philip Seymour Hoffman and Drug Addiction | TIME.com http://entertainment.time.com/2014/02/05/aaron-sorkin-philip-seymour-hoffmans-death-saved-10-lives/#ixzz2sYsv1jCI

  5. parisienne February 7, 2014 at 2:46 AM #

    http://debbiebayerblog.com/2014/02/04/phillip-seymour-hoffman-did-not-have-choice-or-free-will-and-neither-do-you/

    It’s so sad about PSH. I sincerely hope that his death and many all the other needless deaths from drugs and prescription drugs will cause our society to wake up and notice what we allow ourselves to consume into our subconscionciouses. Please read the article I posted as it makes sense to me and I think it will answer your questions OB.

    • Open Book February 8, 2014 at 3:29 PM #

      Hello Paris!

      Nice to see u 🙂

      Thank u for the article it really explains addiction and the brain. I will have to spend more time reading and processing the article. But I agree it’s what we “allow” ourselves to consume is the first issue. Do u think people can learn or be taught how to make better choices? Can someone suffering with addiction live a balanced life?

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