As the Twitter and Facebook feed have shown in the past 24 hours, there has been another death posted in the news that involved a celebrity death involving an addiction. It was another death where the person left their audience too soon and in the prime of their career. Overall, it is not just drug addiction that took over the person's life. It was a private addiction. In many cases, the addiction can be a lifelong battle.
As I read this article this morning, the article itself brought of things to mind that I know about people who deal with various addictions in their lives. The sad part is that it can be a battle where the vice of choice wins, and it did in this case. It must have been a lonely battle for Philip Seymour Hoffman that he had to fight within himself. The descriptions of the crime scene bring a picture of a horrible end of life that had a lot of purpose in it.
Mr. Hoffman was like Cory Monteith or Heath Ledger whose lives ended after a battle with drug addiction in a tragic way. He was a brilliant actor who had many fans who loved his work. His ability to undertake many different characters was amazing, but sometimes his gift as a screen and theater actor that might be the source of his painful addiction. It is sometimes difficult to separate yourself from your craft. In the case of Heath Ledger, he struggled with the effects from the back to back roles of playing both the Joker in "The Dark Knight," and his Bob Dylan figure in "I'm Not There." Heath had trouble sleeping during his last days before his death and chose to use the pharmacological route to deal with the insomnia issues.
Any addiction can be very painful to deal with for anyone. It is a battle with a vice that could be seen at times as the devil itself. Addictions can be almost anything that can be potentially abused from food to alcohol and drugs. It also can be sex and erotica or shopping. Coffee or sugar can be viewed as being addictive, as well. Even the internet or social media can be seen as being addictive if overused for a long period of time.
It is difficult for an addict to ask for help. It is difficult for someone to admit that they have an addiction. It is something do not get acknowledged until the person who has the addiction reaches a breaking point or bottoming out. Sometimes the addict does not get an opportunity to reach that point because the vice takes over and causes death, like in the case of Mr. Hoffman. Most of the time the dire need for help takes the gaining of attention from either friends or family to seek help for the addiction.
Addictions should be something that no one should battle alone. It is important to have a very strong support system in place if anyone seeks help for an addiction. Without a strong support system, it will be very easy to have a relapse from sobriety. It is also important to be able to obtain a proper detoxification period where the person is being treated by trained medical staff who can help safely get the drugs or alcohol out of the addict's system. There are some drugs; like heroin and other narcotics, that can potentially be dangerous to get off of and may cause more harm when taken out of the system too rapidly.
It should not take a celebrity's death to bring the issue of addictions into the public eye because it is not just an issue for celebrities. It is a difficult mental health issue for anyone - famous or not. If you or you know of someone who does need help for an addiction, be sure to reach out to the following services listed below for assistance. You are not alone.
Drug and Addiction Helpline 866-684-6303
National Addiction Helpline 800-757-0771