Celebrities and Drug Overdose

The New York Times reports, “Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead of an apparent heroin overdose — with a hypodermic needle still stuck in his arm and 70 baggies of the drug inside his Greenwich Village pad Sunday, authorities said. He was 46…. Hoffman — a versatile and prolific actor famed for his vivid portrayals of troubled souls — had repeatedly struggled with substance abuse. He spent 10 days in rehab last year for abusing prescription pills and heroin after 23 years of sobriety.” (

This tragic news came as a shock to many who loved the Academy Award winning Capote and recent Hunger Games Hollywood star, just as many have been shocked about previous celebrity drug overdose related deaths.  The occurrence of celebrity drug overdose, which some feel is on the rise, begs the question, “Are celebrities more prone to addiction than non-celebrities?”

Perhaps they are.  Celebrities are certainly surrounded by the rich and famous, and Hollywood/pop culture often includes drug users.  Also, they often have a lot of money and cash is important and essential for an addict.  However, most would argue that celebrities are not more prone to drug abuse, but we definitely hear about it when they succumb to drug use.  Either way, drug overdose is always tragic, whether it involves a celebrity or not.


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