RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman

I really enjoyed Philip Seymour Hoffman’s work. I think my 3 favorites of his roles were Joseph Turner White in State and Main (understated and earnest), Sean in Next Stop Wonderland (small role, but hysterical), and Lester Bangs in Almost Famous (so great).

Since his death this weekend from an apparent overdose of heroin, he’s being hailed as the greatest/most well-respected actor of his generation, which is my generation. I’d agree with that.

The tragedy of a death too soon is something that many people more eloquent than me have written about, but there’s something that is starting to piss me off. They’re reporting that police found 50 bags of heroin at Hoffman’s home, and both the authors of news articles and comments on these articles are saying Hoffman was anywhere from a dealer to planning his suicide to stocking up for the heroin apocalypse.

For a heroin addict, 8-10 bags per day is pretty normal. When I worked at the drug clinic at UVM doing buprenorphine trials, someone with a usage of less than this wasn’t even eligible for the study. We had a lot of people even doing 12-15. So we’re talking about less than a week’s supply. Not a plan for suicide or distribution or a heroin apocalypse. Just an addict, but one with enough money to purchase a few days at a time instead of having to resort to theft or prostitution every day to make the buy. So if you hear/see someone defaming Hoffman based on the 50 bags report, set them straight.

Thanks for all the great movies, Philip Seymour Hoffman! You were great!

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