Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Autopsy Results Are In, But Please Keep Your Pants On

Philip Seymour Hoffman attending Ides of March photocall October 2011I’ve already been pretty open with you guys about how much the media salivating over Philip Seymour Hoffman‘s death bothers me. Not that it’s really any of my business, but I don’t mind people mourning him in their own private, respectful ways. He was an actor that most of us never met, that we feel connected to only through some sort of ownership of his talent. Cope with that however you want, but just know that the morbid obsession — even fascination – with his death is not a good look for anybody.

So with that in mind, let’s talk about the autopsy results for his death, because they’re in. Or they’re sort of in, in that they’ve been released, but are being cited as ‘inconclusive’. THAT’S RIGHT EVERYBODY. Even though you fell over yourself clicking this link and have already read in every single media outlet that he was discovered with a heroin syringe still in his arm omg can you imagine his kids, it turns out they might need a little more than three business days to discover what dangerous combination of chemicals ultimately caused his tragic death. Additional testing will need to be done, including a toxicology report, which could take anywhere in a range of a few days to a couple of weeks. So just keep your pants on, everyone. PLEASE.

Instead of letting our imaginations and flair for the dramatic rage out of control while we try to discover enough morbid details about PSH’s death to actually feel some of it, let’s talk about the facts. In his home, police reportedly discovered a wide range of pharmaceuticals, which according to CNN include:

The blood-pressure medication clonidine hydrochloride; the addiction-treatment drug buprenorphine; Vynase, a drug used to treat hyperactivity disorder; hydroxyzine, which can be used to treat anxiety; and methocarbamol, a muscle relaxer. It is unclear whether the drugs were prescribed for Hoffman.

In this terrible time, I’d love for the focus to be on the positivity of his work and talent or on the devastating impact of addiction and our nation’s incapability of addressing it successfully. Or maybe on the four people arrested in connection with this death. Or whatever feels good to you without initiating a feeding frenzy over the obscene, unnecessary details.

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    • Maria

      I love Philip Seymour Hoffman. I thought he was just an incredible actor. But I think your article would have come across better if you had just written about how you felt the media has mishandled the news of his death, and not added in what the gossipers and crappy ‘journalists’ have been writing.

    • Tisha Maldonado

      I get you, many people just go for the drama, but many also, like myself enjoy his work and talent. Because of this, it’s a shock to hear one day that a well known actor was found dead. Of course we want to know what happened. That’s human nature. I agree let’s focus on the positive of his career, but he might also like to know that his death could help some people suffering from addiction by possibly giving them a warning or giving the rest of us knowledge about the red flags to look for. In all honesty, if you think it’s not newsworthy, you probably should refrain from sharing the information.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        I have no issue with the cause of his death being revealed, it’s the escalating details of it that everybody’s salivating over.

      • Tisha Maldonado

        Okay, I can understand why you feel that way. I do agree. We know the cause now. There’s no need for the public to really know any more. It’s true that the media feeds the demand. There’s no denying that the salivating demand of more, more, more exists in our society.

    • 34

      The hypocrisy of someone who writes about celebrities complaining about peoples obsession with an aspect of celebrities. You know its bad when the people at fault are the ones pointing fingers.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Might require a re-read.

    • abbeysbooks

      I disagree that heroin killed him. I have read practically all of Burroughs on this and other subjects and his is the most factual, logical approach to illicit substances. Of course if it’s legal some will still die. Just the way driving a car with license and insurance all up to date cannot ensure that you are not going to die in an auto accident.So that is not really an important argument to bring into the picture. There are ways to get clean of heroin and Burroughs talks of them and the govt knows of them and doesn’t give a fug.Drugs are big money. Police departments increase their hires because of the “drug problem,” the prisons make more money, etc etc etc. Everyone knows that this is the truth. Hoffman may have taken too much in any case, but I think Russell Brand gives the best reason, “It’s not the heroin I can’t stand, it’s reality I can’t stand.” And for Hoffman who did such incredible work with small people in movies, he had to have been so keyed into their daily lives to have portrayed them so truly. He feels the same as David Foster Wallace, who just felt too much to be able to stand it. Snowden’s revelations have had an impact that feels like a cloud hanging over us.The pain we witness every day that says, “Notice me! Do something about this!” is unending for each of us.We all feel drowned in these horrible happenings and if you don’t yourself, then you are not paying attention.

      • John Gregor

        It may have been an added subtance that tool Hoffman. One of may favorite Profs at school now gone, said there is a secret world of Heroin use where the users would do it like alcohol or weed. But that somepeople loose it, just like some people do with Big Macs or Alcohol. Still it scare me enough to be afraid of it. Borroughs son played with alcohol and meth.

      • abbeysbooks

        I know nothing of Burroughs son and in fact didn’t even know he had one. I am sure some people are careless with it.For Hoffman? Let’s see it’s Sunday morning and he’s supposed to pick his kids up and instead he’s shooting up. His partner has expressed she was suspicious of his behavior recently and suspected he was high the day before. If she suspected then I wonder why she didn’t find a way to avoid his having to pick them up.Change of plans or something.

        24 years in recovery is a big lie. He drank all that time. Anyone who knows about AA knows that ALL addictive substances are No-no when you get clean. Just because heroin is your drug of choice and you get clean of it, that doesn’t mean it’s OK for you to drink alcohol, or do pot, or whatever is down the line on your preference list.

        So no, his time in recovery is not accurate. I have always seen how much cigarette smoking goes no at AA meetings and while they are waiting for the meeting to begin with coffee and cigarettes. You will never see booze at a drug AA meeting. It’s not OK to switch your preference. It doesn’t mean you are clean just because you stopped the favorite one.

      • John Gregor


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