Celebzster / Dr. Akikur Mohammad

Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Demons Revealed in Diaries

February 13, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Demons Revealed in Diaries


Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Demons Revealed in Diaries

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman suffered from a chronic medical condition that required ongoing medical treatment. An admitted drug addict who first sought professional help more than two decades ago, Hoffman succumbed to his illness with an overdose despite a return to rehab last March.

His life seemed perfect on paper, with a loving partner and three children with a thriving respected career. But the Oscar-winning actor, 46, died on a Sunday morning (Feb. 2) last week with a needle in his arm and baggies of heroin nearby.  He was found at 11:30 a.m. on Super Bowl Sunday in a Manhattan apartment with a syringe still in his arm. Police searched the apartment and found two small diaries — one measuring about 6 by 8 inches and another approximately 7 by 9 inches.

NBC reports that the private diaries of the late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman reveal a man who was troubled by “demons” and struggled to control them with Narcotics Anonymous meetings.

Hoffman penned his experiences with drug deals, and even while in rehab for his admitted heroin addiction.

NBC reports that the hand-written entries make reference to drug deals, to the actor’s struggle with his “demons,” and his Narcotics Anonymous meetings in lower Manhattan.

NBC writes:

“But the diaries are also hard to read, with scribbled lines, and sentences that run into each other. The handwriting sometimes starts out clearly and then becomes illegible, said a source, as if he had written parts of the diaries while high.”

“It’s stream of consciousness and difficult to follow,” said the NBC source. “In one line he refers to ‘Frank who always owes money’ and on the same page he writes about a 15-year-old girl from Texas.”

“It seems he did at least part of it in rehab,” said another NBC source. “It definitely contained some soul-searching. But there is also a fair amount of rambling that doesn’t make sense.”

Hoffman was reported to have attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in New York as well.

Four people were eventually arrested after people tipped them off as to who was dealing with Hoffman. NBC reports that prosecutors declined to press charges against one individual and charged two with possession of cocaine, a misdemeanor. One suspect, Robert Vineberg, faces a felony charge of heroin possession with intent to sell. All three have pleaded not guilty.

The tally, according to NBC News, was that Hoffman’s apartment has “49 full bags of heroin, 23 empty bags of heroin, four bags of white powder believed to be cocaine, as well as various prescription drugs.”

Frequent contributor to Monsters and Critics is the respected addiction expert, Dr. Akikur Reza Mohammad, a psychiatrist and addiction-medicine specialist who works as a professor at USC’s Keck School of Medicine and is founding chief of Inspire Malibu Treatment Center. We asked his opinion of these diaries and what the significance of Hoffman’s attempts at sobriety via AA and NA groups.

“Philip Seymour Hoffman’s reported comments in his personal diary are familiar to any medical professional who deals with opiate addicts,” says Dr. Akikur Reza Mohammad. “The ‘demons’ that he was struggling with in the weeks before his death were the intense cravings for heroin, and to a lesser degree alcohol. He was in a particularly vulnerable time in his life, having relapsed after more than 20 years of being sober. While you might think that being free from drugs for so long would have insulated him to some degree from his ‘demons,’ the unfortunate fact of the matter is that opiate addicts in recovery immediate experience the same cravings for drugs as when they were at the depth of their addiction – even if it was decades ago.”

Dr. Mohammad added, “Increasingly, it’s becoming clear that Hoffman made the fatal misstep of not treating his relapse as the number one priority in his life. Reportedly, he only stayed in rehab for 10 days, which is not enough time to successfully treat is a raging, full-blown relapse. He also sought comfort and support with 12-step groups, but those could not provide the medical treatment he needed to stop his physical cravings for heroin. He likely was ashamed by his relapse, perhaps viewing it as a moral failure.”

“Most addicts do feel like pariahs because – guess what? – society tells them they are morally weak. But through advances in medical research and technology, we know that alcohol and drug addiction is a chronic brain disease that needs to be treated with medications and then managed over a life time. Most chronic disease sufferers relapse and stop taking medications, whether they have diabetes, heart disease or cancer. Do we view their relapses as moral failures and suggest the solution to their problem is willpower or a 12 step support group? Of course not. Rather, we would encourage them to get back to their medications as soon as possible. Unfortunately, it appears no one was playing that role in Philip Seymour Hoffman’s life at the time of his death,” says Dr. Mohammad.

Original Article

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