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Drug addiction expert weighs in on Hoffman's death

Monday, February 03, 2014 - 01:51

Feb. 03 - Philip Seymour Hoffman's death ''should not be a surprise entirely,'' says drug addiction expert. John Russell reports.

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Acclaimed actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his Manhattan apartment on Sunday (February 02) of an apparent drug overdose. One big question in the 46-year-old actor's sudden death: why a talented man at a seemingly good point in his career apparently returned to the drugs that had plagued him in his youth. Dr. Joseph Haraszti, a California-based addiction expert, explains. SOUNDBITE Dr. Joseph Haraszti, a California-based addiction expert, saying (English): "It should not be a surprise entirely because once someone has been addicted to drugs, the possibility of relapse never goes away. It's a life long struggle. So in a sense, I am not surprised." Hoffman spoke publicly about the addictions he suffered as a young man. But after more than two decades sober, he checked into rehab last May after he had started using again. On Sunday, the actor was discovered in the bathroom of his Greenwich Village apartment with a syringe in his arm. New York City police sources familiar with the investigation said 50 small bags of what appeared to be heroin were found in Hoffman's apartment along with other drugs. Police investigating Hoffman's death were trying to determine the source of the substance that apparently killed him. SOUNDBITE Dr. Joseph Haraszti, a California-based addiction expert, saying (English): "Heroin is one of the most powerful drugs that can produce an intense euphoria - the rush that addicts describe. It enters the blood-brain barrier very quickly and it produces an intense feeling of euphoria and people will do anything to chase that once they've experienced it. Initially you can use it a few times and you're not fully addicted, but once you become addicted it becomes a life long struggle." Hoffman's death raised new concerns about drug addiction in the entertainment industry. If a heroin overdose is confirmed, Hoffman will join a long list of entertainers who have succumbed to drugs in the last decade. "Glee" actor Cory Monteith, died of an accidental overdose of heroin and alcohol in October in Vancouver. Drugs were also the cause of death of Australian actor Heath Ledger in 2008 and singer Whitney Houston in 2012. Hoffman's family issued a statement on Sunday saying they were devastated by his death. He is survived by three children and his longtime partner Mimi O'Donnell.

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Drug addiction expert weighs in on Hoffman's death

Monday, February 03, 2014 - 01:51