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.”
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.”
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.
Wednesday—article by Ozzie
Thursday—3PM/EST discussion opens
Friday—3PM/EST discussion continues
Saturday—3PM/EST discussion wraps up