- The Oscar-winning actor, 46, was found dead on February 2 in his $10,000-a-month West Village apartment
- Hoffman’s tragic death came less than a year after he completed a stint in rehab for his addiction after being clean for two decades
- Mixing heroin and cocaine is known as ‘speedballing’ and the lethal combination killed actors River Phoenix and John Belushi
By Louise Boyle
The cause of death for Philip Seymour Hoffman was an acute mixed drug intoxication of heroin, cocaine, benzodiazepines and amphetamine, it was announced today.
The Oscar-winning actor, 46, was found dead on February 2 in his $10,000-a-month West Village apartment surrounded by 70 bags of heroin and 20 used syringes.
Hoffman’s tragic death came less than a year after he completed a stint in rehab for his addiction after being clean for 23 years.
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Philip Seymour Hoffman’s cause of death was acute drug intoxication it was announced today. The 46-year-old actor is seen in one of the last pictures taken before his death at the Sundance Film Festival
Police outside the apartment of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman on February 3 in the West Village, New York City following his tragic overdose
According to the New York medical examiner on Friday, acute mixed drug intoxication was the cause of death.
One of the drugs found in Hoffman’s system was benzodiazepine – a psychoactive drug with sedative and muscle relaxant properties that can be used to treat anxiety disorders.
The other prescription drug found in Hoffman’s system amphetamine was an ‘upper’ – such as Adderall – and can be used to give an enhanced feeling of wakefulness and focus.
Mixing the heroin and cocaine together is known as ‘speed-balling’ and is the same deadly combination that claimed the lives of actors River Phoenix, John Belushi and Chris Farley.
The star reportedly fell off the wagon during the wrap party for his 2012 movie The Master and entered rehab in May of last year.
The Capote star was found at dead at his home early on the Sunday morning by friend David Bar Katz when he didn’t show to pick up his children.
Longtime partners: Philip Seymour Hoffman and Mimi O’Donnell, pictured in an undated photo, had been together for many years. They had separated shortly before his death as Hoffman tried to beat his drug addiction
Police had been investigating his death as a suspected drug overdose.
Investigators have determined that Hoffman made six ATM transactions for a total of $1,200 inside a supermarket near his home on the Saturday night before his death.
DID ‘SPEEDBALL’ DRUG COCKTAIL KILL PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN?
The New York medical examiner announced on Friday that Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death was caused by an acute mixed drug overdose of heroin, cocaine, benzodiazepines and amphetamine.
Speedball (also referred to as power-balling) refers to shooting heroin or morphine in the same syringe. Some also use it with two syringes, one in each arm.
The term can also be applied to use of pharmaceutical opioids – benzodiazepines or barbiturates along with amphetamines.
The cocktail of drugs can cause a strong physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms, and is extremely deadly.
Three people were later arrested during the investigation into the source of the drugs, including a long-time friend and ‘drug dealer’ Robert Vineberg.
Struggling jazz musician Vineberg, 57, was arrested on February 4 in his apartment in the pricey Nolita district of Manhattan and charged with drug possession after hundreds of bags of heroin were found at his home.
Before his death, Hoffman separated from costume designer Marianne ‘Mimi’ O’Donnell, the mother of his three children, as he battled addiction.
Hoffman moved into an apartment close to where Ms O’Donnell lives with the children in their $4.2 million apartment.
The actor leaves Ms O’Donnell and their three children – son Cooper, 10, Tallulah, seven, and five-year-old Willa.
The actor, who won an Oscar for Capote and also starred in The Hunger Games, The Master and Moneyball, was considered one of the leading talents of his generation.
He was remembered at a funeral on February 6 for 400 people at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
The service at attended by his family and close friends in Hollywood including Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, Ethan Hawke, Amy Adams and Joaquin Phoenix.
Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman at one of his last public appearances at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in January. Picture: Splash News and Pictures. Source: Splash News Australia
The actor pictured with two of his three children Cooper and Willa. He had left the family home at the end of last year to try to beat his drug addiction
Philip Seymour Hoffman, pictured in January, died at the age of 46 at his home in the West Village
The casket of Philip Seymour Hoffman leaves the Church of St Ignatius in Manhattan as family and friends mourned the loss of the talented actor who died at age 46.
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Anyone suffering from drug addiction or alcoholism should immediately seek help. Every town has an “Alcoholics Anonymous” meeting or a meeting and service to support drug addicts. Every hospital emergency room can give guidance on drug and alcohol treatment which is available everywhere and anywhere and is covered by the Affordable Care Act (“ObamaCare”).
I recall meeting Philip Seymour Hoffman one time as he was a wonderful actor. One of his friends is Father James Martin SJ who many may know from his book “The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything” which is a terrific book!
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