By SHAMA DOSHI
The tragic death of Oscar winning actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman, rattled the world this past weekend. Hoffman was found dead in his New York apartment after an apparent heroin overdose.
Officials reportedly discovered Hoffman’s body on his bathroom floor with the hypodermic needle still inserted in his arm. Upon further investigation, 70 bags were found in the apartment, according to the New York Post.
Hollywood lost yet another remarkable actor to the continuing problem of drug addiction and overdose. Hoffman had been a prominent member of the Hollywood community, starring in over fifty movies between the years 1991 and 2014.
Hoffman’s fame was rekindled in his role as Plutarch Heavensbee in the “Hunger Games” series. News of Hoffman’s death left the “Hunger Games” fans worried about the remaining films. However, a recent BBC article noted that, “Hoffman had completed his work for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, and had only seven days remaining to shoot on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. It is thought the films’ scheduled release dates of 21 November 2014, and 20 November 2015, respectively, will not be affected by Hoffman’s death.”
Instead of focusing on something so trite as the roles of which will be lost after Hoffman’s death, we ought to be concerned about the increasing number of heroin overdoses. The public eye is viewing Hoffman’s death in the wrong way- as a character rather than an individual.
Jennifer Peltz of the Washington Post wrote that between years 2000 and 2010 recorded heroin related deaths, “nearly doubled from 1,842 to 3,036.” This statistic is extremely alarming and suggests that heroin is becoming more popular in our society. Too many talented people have been lost to substance abuse. Such as musicians to actors: Cory Monteith, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendricks.
The recent rise in celebrity overdoses is troubling and suggests that perhaps there is a link between the pressure surrounding fame and an individual’s state of mind. I think the public ought to assess this relationship and realize that this is a rather serious issue that needs to be addressed.
With the increase of heroin addiction, we must come to terms with the gravity of this situation and the widespread use of this deadly drug. As Michael Clune, former heroin addict and published author, told Peltz that, “People think that it is someone who is a bum, who’s homeless, who has no money and who is sort of living at the very bottom.” However, with the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman we come to realize that heroin can take a place in anyone’s life.