The latest on Phillip Seymour Hoffman

imagesAfter all the speculation that Phillip Seymour Hoffman could have been saved if he had been placed on Suboxone, we have one more bit of information. Not only did he have the drug in his apartment, he had enough exposure to recommend it to a fellow addict.

Sometime last year, he met Mr. Hoffman through mutual friends. They were kindred spirits, he said, both private people. He avoided questions about whether the two used drugs together. But he said they talked and exchanged text messages about their addictions, with Mr. Hoffman urging Mr. Aaron to try Suboxone, a controversial prescription painkiller used to treat heroin addiction. The messages ended last fall, when the two men fell out of touch, Mr. Aaron said. Then, at the beginning of February, Mr. Hoffman died of an overdose of multiple drugs.

I’m not arguing that the drug killed him. Just that the arguments that “abstinence-based/12 step domination” in the treatment industry killed him is a bogus argument.

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6 responses to “The latest on Phillip Seymour Hoffman

  1. 12 steps didn’t kill him, nor medication assisted treatment. DRUGS killed him. Obviously suboxone didn’t work for him, and I don’t know if he was active at the time in an AA community. It’s so sad that nothing was helping him, though something (AA?) worked for many years and he got to live another 23 more than if he hadn’t been involved.

  2. Suboxone saved my life. But after more than six years of being on it, I can honestly say it’s a bitch getting off of it. I’d rather kick heroin cold-turkey than go through Suboxone withdrawal for three months….and counting.

  3. I would add that AA (ironically not NA–even though I find it difficult to identify myself as an “alcoholic” as do many addicts I know) also saved my life.

  4. Actually nobody has done 20+ year follow-up studies with suboxone, so there’s a limit to what you can say about its life-saving qualities compared say with intensive treatment and ongoing mutual aid activity. We can’t estimate the risk to benefit ratio of either route and of course, many people have a non-linear pathway to long term recovery involving, for some, replacement at some stage in the journey. At the end of the day, what people want is surely crucial and many don’t want to be on medication for ever.