Looking on the Bright Side of a Dark Situation

“If one of us dies of an overdose, probably 10 people who were about to won’t.” Slightly more than six years after uttering this prophetic statement, Philip Seymour Hoffman fulfilled his own dismal good deed. On Sunday, February 2, 2014, Hoffman was discovered dead, with a needle in his arm, in his Manhattan apartment. The 46-year-old had struggled with substance abuse in the past and recently spent time fighting his addiction to prescription drugs and heroin in rehab.

Friend and colleague Aaron Sorkin crafted a touching obituary for the actor in which he declared Hoffman will “have his well-earned legacy — his Willy Loman that belongs on the same shelf with Lee J. Cobb’s and Dustin Hoffman’s, his Jamie Tyrone, his Truman Capote and his Academy Award. Let’s add to that 10 people who were about to die who won’t now.” Sorkin grew close to the star of Charlie Wilson’s War because he too faces the daily all-consuming hunger for substance abuse.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, 46, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment Sunday, February 2, 2014. The death is suspected to be drug related as the actor had a hypodermic needle in his arm and bags of heroin were discovered close-by. Photo taken from http://www.nme.com.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, 46, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014. The death is suspected to be drug-related as the actor had a hypodermic needle in his arm and bags of heroin were discovered close-by. Photo taken from http://www.nme.com.

As heroin-use increases across the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stars like Hoffman may in fact be doing the drug addicts of the country a favor in some horrible way. One of the many moral dilemmas with this statement, however, introduces the question: Why must it take the loss of a talented entertainment figure to re-introduce the issue of substance abuse?

I realize that using illegal drugs of any kind can provide the abuser with both the rush of the high and that of disobeying the law, but I see no reasoning behind either motivation. I can only hope that, with each highly publicized death, 10 more people decide to drop the habit.

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One thought on “Looking on the Bright Side of a Dark Situation

  1. Lindsay,

    Great job on this post! You are a very strong writer and you seem to have a real understanding about what makes a good blog post. I like your title of this post, and one of my favorite things about the post was that you began and ended with the idea of 1 death from overdose leading to 10 people being saved. This was a great way to bring the post full-circle.

    Also, I wanted to tell you that I appreciate you including the link to the CDC website-it is relevant to this topic and also supported your statement about heroin use increasing in the United States.

    You did a good job with the photo and caption, and you even told us where you got the picture from. One little note about the date though-in AP style, the month is abbreviated. So it should say “Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014”. Other than that, the caption is well written and informative.

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