Thursday, February 6, 2014

Death of Philip Seymour Hoffman

I was saddened to learn of the death of PSH.  Yes, it is very tragic.  Yes, I wish that heroin use and overdose deaths of regular people would get this much attention.  Our kids, our neighbors, our loved ones, our friends... It would be great if we could all speak up and say, yes this happened to someone I loved, I knew him/her, I knew his/her parents....

I am getting to the age where I read the local obits.  Every time I see a young person around my sons ages that "died suddenly" or "unexpectedly" I wonder if it was an overdose.  According to my brother, a local law enforcement officer, it happens often.  I don't know that I've ever seen any mention of drugs or addiction in an obituary.  There is so much shame attached.

Tragic and sad yes, but it seems a much respected actor's death of an (apparent) heroin overdose has caused a lot of discussion of addiction this week.  The messages I'm starting to hear are 1) this happens, it can happen to anyone, young, middle-aged, old, rich, poor, famous or unknown and 2) addiction is a disease that has to be fought, not only by the addict, but by those around him/her and 3) we can be open with each other and hopefully gain support for the addicts in our lives, and ourselves.

I hope the discussion continues.



  1. I don't read the obits but in our paper The Star in KC many people put pictures in the obits. When I see a young person I do the same, I wonder. I read their obit and there is never a mention of drugs. Some ask for donations to a cancer charity or other type of charity but I never see one for a rehab.

    1. Honestly, Ron I can see why they don't want donations to rehabs because most are really just huge money makers. The last person I know who sent their addicted loved one to rehab paid $66,000 for three months. There are no reasonably priced private rehabs. I wouldn't donate a cent to any of them.

  2. Yikes, and I empathize. I don't read obits, but like you, I always wonder when a very young adult dies "suddenly.

    It might interest you to note that, as of 2011, the data shows that drug overdoses have replaced car accidents as a cause for sudden death.

    You're not crazy, nor melodramatic. Just very, very realistic. Head up. It's not your fault.


  3. I am not addicted to drugs, but I am 24 years sober in AA. I am trying to help a friend of mine get free from heroin. So I have been searching for other ways. The treatment center thing is a business, based on relapse. Terrible success rate. And if an addict comes off heroin, stays clean for a while, there is a huge risk for overdose, since their mind is still wanting to use at the last dose they used. Deadly. Sounds like you know your way around a rehab.
    Anyway, I have investigated this stuff called Iboga, or Ibogaine. It is an African herb that has been used at least in central america for more than 25 years.The doctor that I spoke with here in Antigua has personally supervised Iboga for 20 years. From all the YouTube videos and research articles on it, Iboga removes all trace of the craving and shortenss and reduces the severity of withdrawal. The last patient the Dr had at said that after 5 days after Iboga, he felt like he had never taken heroin at all, ever. Its not an easy process, according to the doctor here (, the patient needs to be totally supervised every minute for the first week.
    Also they say Iboga is only half the process. the other half is helping the addict get at the inner issues that caused him to like the addictive process. Otherwise, a person can be healed, have a transformational inner experience and go home and get hungry for a different easier softer way. Drinking, other drugs, etc.
    However, this is a new concept to me. To be freed from the cravings and the nightmare withdrawal. This center near me has a Facebook page as well that is loaded with articles on Iboga, Ibogaine and how it works. I am so surprised to hear about this new, yet very very old herb. No suboxone, methadone or Buprenorphine. Just one dose of Iboga, one week of intense supervision, another of moderate supervision.

    Please let me know if you have heard of this and if so, what do you think of this? I feel so strange asking this of a complete stranger, yet since it is not a patented drug, its success is kept well hidden.

    Thank you for your time,
    Barb Long