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Why Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Death Is So Scary

Posted on :  June 26th, 2014  |  By :  towardsrecovery

For many of his fans, Philip Seymour Hoffman was one of the most talented actors among his generation, having been nominated for four Oscars, and winning one, and maintaining a successful family life, fathering three children.

His addiction history, though private to many, was just that: his history. At the age of 22, he recovered successfully from addiction and for 23 years in total, managed to resist the urge to use anything.

Tragically, however, his life came to an end earlier this year, just two years after he decided to use prescription pills again in a highly publicized incident.

As a tale, it’s undeniably a sad one – but it’s also one that we can learn from, as it points to some interesting and telling truths about the nature of addiction.

“Recovery is not a process with a clearly-defined finish line, and addiction can beget further addictions.”

Why the science around addiction is so vague

It’s a truth universally acknowledged by addicts and industry professionals alike that the root cause of addiction has thus far largely eluded science’s vice-like grip.

While we know that some people may be more prone than others, we know little about identifying the genetic factors that contribute to these predispositions, and indeed, whether a propensity for future drug addiction can be a hereditary characteristic.

In order to know how to treat a problem, you need to identify its cause, and herein lies the second problem: statistics on recovery programs are also, worryingly vague.

This is partly because alcoholics anonymous, perhaps the most largely known recovery program around, respects the anonymity of its members so thoroughly that finding information on its success rates is tricky.

Despite this, there are things we can count as knowledge in relation to addiction and recovery, and Hoffman’s tragic and untimely death illustrates them rather well.

What we can learn from Philip Seymour Hoffman

There’s a reason so many people involved in addiction and the recovery process throw around that old caveat “it’s a journey, not a destination” so often. This is because it’s true.

While some people successfully avoid relapse throughout their recovery, many more acknowledge that relapse is an often unavoidable part of the process, and indeed, something that can be triggered by things that seem worlds away from whatever it was that initially hooked the addict.

While Hoffman’s death should function as a warning to all recovering addicts, it should also be something that we all learn from, and a means of illustrating the truth that the recovery process is a long, often difficult road, but is one that is well worth the effort.

If you, or someone you know, needs help to recover from drug addiction, and live in or around Hamilton, St. Catharines, or Brantford, Ontario, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Towards Recovery on 519-579-0589 to locate your nearest clinic and kick start your journey.

Make sure you have an unexpired OHIP card or call 1-866-532-3161 to find out how to get one.

Towards Recovery Clinics Inc. (TRC) is an Ontario addiction treatment centre with the philosophy to help individuals take control of their addiction and help them rebuild their lives and careers.

Don’t hesitate to call us! We’ll be happy to help you.

Who We Serve ?

  • Individuals using/abusing street narcotics (e.g. heroin).
  • Patients abusing prescription narcotics(i.e., Codeine, Talwin, Percocet/Percodan, Dilaudid, Morphine or Demerol, et cetera).
  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.
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