Philip Seymour Hoffman died from an overdose of overdose of both uppers and downers, including heroin, cocaine, amphetamines and benzodiazepines, the New York medical examiner concluded Friday. Nationally recognized addiction expert Dr. A. R. Mohammad, M.D., says this scenario is all too common among heroin addicts who try to “manage” their highs.
“The cause of death from a heroin overdose is respiratory depression. When you add ‘benzo’ to heroin or any other opiate, the risk of respiratory depression increases dramatically,” says Dr. Mohammad. “Addicts combine uppers and downs to balance their highs and counteract the unpleasant side effects.”
Hoffman was found dead at just 46 on February 2 surrounded by 70 bags of heroin and 20 used syringes.
*Dr. Mohammad is a board-certified psychiatrist and teaches addiction medicine as an associate professor at USC’s Keck School of Medicine.