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NYC official: Hoffman died of toxic mix of drugs



NEW YORK (AP) -- A toxic mix of heroin and other drugs killed Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, New York City officials said Friday.

Hoffman died from a mix of heroin, cocaine, amphetamines and benzodiazepines, which are psychoactive drugs, said a spokeswoman for the New York City medical examiner. The death was ruled an accident.

Law enforcement officials have said Hoffman was found Feb. 2 with a needle in his arm, and tests found heroin in samples from at least 50 packets in his Manhattan apartment.

Police had been investigating his death as a suspected drug overdose. An autopsy in February was inconclusive and medical examiners said more tests were needed.

Authorities also found unused syringes, a charred spoon and various prescription medications, including a drug used to treat heroin addiction, a blood-pressure medication and a muscle relaxant.

Hoffman, 46, who won an Oscar for "Capote" and starred in numerous other movies as well as New York stage productions, had been frank about struggling with substance abuse. He told CBS' "60 Minutes" in 2006 that had he used "anything I could get my hands on" before getting clean at age 22. But in interviews last year, he said he'd relapsed, had developed a heroin problem and had gone to rehab for a time.

Investigators have been probing how Hoffman may have obtained the heroin. Tests of the heroin in his apartment have found that it was not cut with a dangerous additive such as fentanyl, a synthetic form of morphine used to intensify the high that has been linked to deaths in other states.

A musician, veteran jazz player Robert Vineberg, has been charged with keeping a heroin stash in a lower Manhattan apartment amid the investigation into Hoffman's death. Vineberg, who has said he was a friend of the Tony Award-nominated Hoffman, hasn't been charged in Hoffman's death and has said he didn't sell him the heroin found in his apartment.

As police followed a tip after Hoffman's death, they said they found about 300 small bags of heroin, worth about $10 apiece on the street, and $1,300 in cash in Vineberg's apartment and music studio.

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booboodog February 28 2014 at 5:30 PM

What bugs the hell out of me is the fact Mr. Hoffman choose drugs over his kids, they're the ones who needs prayers.

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dwg3402 March 01 2014 at 6:46 AM

accident ??? more like stupidity !!

Flag Reply +6 rate up
MaryLou February 28 2014 at 7:06 PM

Maybe his passing will save others- perhaps a few dealers will be taken off the street- I didn't know him but I saw him on Broadway in Saratoga- he was very thoughtful to all his fans- I believe he was a hugely talented kind gentle man that was an addict. My prayers are with his children, lover and friends.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
rlwent February 28 2014 at 7:09 PM

we would do better as a sociaity if we would quit reading talking posting and accepting idiots like these, that includes Beeber , Cyruss and any other fool

Flag Reply +1 rate up
2 replies
dave1marine rlwent February 28 2014 at 7:23 PM

Those people are the PRECISE people we should be spotlighting.
There is NO LESSON that is worth learning better than those with OBVIOUS cnsequences.
This man had a FAMILY, and had the resources to obtain the best help available on the planet.
HIDING this fact is NOT productve.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
dbrockskk1 rlwent February 28 2014 at 8:04 PM

society Cyrus lol Stay in school. GN

Flag Reply 0 rate up
impexlink March 01 2014 at 7:05 AM

He loved doing drugs and like they say "he who lives by the gun, die by the gun" this guy had a good life but he chosed to do drugs nobody put a gun to his head to do drugs. You do drugs, you die!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
Natalie impexlink March 01 2014 at 7:12 AM

Exactly.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
gardinerda February 28 2014 at 7:21 PM

I am sorry for the Hoffman family, but I wish the police would put as much effort into finding drug dealers when ANY ONE dies. It seems that his fame brought him more "investigation" than is usual for others, even teens who have died of drug overdose. They, too were some mothers child and are sadly missed.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
1 reply
Susan gardinerda February 28 2014 at 7:43 PM

They do all the time. The prisons are full of drug dealers. You probably don't read those articles because you aren't interested in someone who isn't famous.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
seacord March 01 2014 at 12:14 AM

There must be better ways to enjoy all of the money he was paid to act...

Flag Reply +1 rate up
chrimini3 March 01 2014 at 7:22 AM

He was a junkie. Plain and simple. What about all the other junkies that die everyday? No news there, Oh yeah, they're not famous. This guy had it all and chose to do the drug that ultimately ended his life, sad? Yes. Repeatedly newsworthy? No

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S February 28 2014 at 5:14 PM

Why rule this an accident? Did he take the drugs by accident? Maybe it wasn't suicide, but it wasn't an accident either.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
2 replies
jvmcfla@aim.com S February 28 2014 at 5:20 PM

Absolutely agree one hundred percent! It was NOT an accident! He knew the potential of an overdose one way or the other! I read the article, yes but it will be my last one... I have NO sympathy for him! I feel sorry for lives that are lost from situations where it was NOT self inflicted! I had a family member die eventually from drug use in his forties, we tried everything to save him for many years and I loved this family member, but I also knew for years that he would eventually pass because that is what drugs do... they kill people, good people, bad people, young people, old people!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Zoe S February 28 2014 at 5:22 PM

It's so puzzling to me that he bought so MUCH heroine. That is definitely a sign that this was not an accident. I also don't believe he wanted to die, so it can't be suicide, either.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Suzann March 01 2014 at 6:36 AM

Money and fame does not by happiness and neither does drugs! Another human life wasted by drugs, pure DEVIL...

Flag Reply +2 rate up
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