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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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BEWARE.. HUNTERS February 28 2014 at 6:20 PM

Wierd, I made a bet with my hubby that he probably Bulushed himself. Sad to say I won the bet. This man will be terribly missed. I he was in the show it was a definite ticket.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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tttttttt March 01 2014 at 7:24 AM

This country plays to 'addiction', profits from 'addiction' and supports 'addiction'. What bullshit!

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rforeverfree March 01 2014 at 7:24 AM

and another celebrity junky meets his fate. News?

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carmencadena17 February 28 2014 at 10:16 PM

Drug addiction is sad. It does not discriminate. It is just a shame that when a rich/famous person ODs the whole world wants to do something about it; however when the average Joe ODs, nobody really seems to care. If you know of a family member that suffers from addiction, do not ignore it. There are groups that teach you how you can be of help without enabling an addict. Look for Al-Anon meetings :)

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2 replies
SAM carmencadena17 February 28 2014 at 10:27 PM

You got one big problem Carmencadena the government is working against you, they want to make it legal for everybody to use drugs.

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SAM carmencadena17 February 28 2014 at 10:36 PM

If you don't use drugs, then don't ever hang around people that do. and that goes with drunks to.

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bejit22 February 28 2014 at 5:13 PM

It is as if he went on some sort of drug spree, but they say he didn't do it on purpose, it wasn't a suicide. But it might as well have been... he was happy, he left no note, so it had to be an accident. But GEEZ! When will these "Stars" who are so talented in one way, learn that that doesn't mean they are perfect in every way? This is like an epidemic with Hollywood celebrities. Why? Why do they have more occurrences of this than 'regular' people? Pressures? Too much money and not enough crap to spend it on? This SHOULD be a wake up call for Hollywood, but it never is, is it....

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Candy and Bill February 28 2014 at 10:09 PM

a loss and a waste of a preious talented human being. i give my heart to the children and the mother of his children. been on this earth a long time. such suffering and pain from people who have found success and money...but do not have the capability to handle the responsibilty to handle they have attained. God bless you dear one...get ready to repeat a life.

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2 replies
kizziemodo Candy and Bill February 28 2014 at 10:29 PM

Really? you were there - on the couch and discussed what? with who - freakzoid

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SAM Candy and Bill February 28 2014 at 10:38 PM

he was old enough to no better.

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aabmhbetty February 28 2014 at 5:12 PM

No he didn't mean to die, but he did mean to take the drugs. Every last one of them. But instead of cleaning up our streets and neighborhoods let's just pass a drug bill so it's legalized and we won't have to work as hard to put a stop to this craziness. AND we can make some money on it too! Amazing. Let's cut out this little guy that sells it on the street, let's legalize it and reap the benefits. That'll show those drug pushers. Wow.

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1 reply
sue aabmhbetty February 28 2014 at 5:36 PM

Although a drug pusher is scum, their existence being scum may sway some curious teens away from trying this verses legally readily available, taking away the think before you act just because its legal. Wrong Answer!

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sachfoxo February 28 2014 at 10:28 PM

Hoffman died from a mix of heroin and a cocaine when you find syringes, a charred spoon their was also a cotton ball with the needle still in his vein . This cocktail is known as a ( Speed ball) he shot it up and died while getting high.
1. Who know how strong either drug was ( they are not checked and portioned by pharmacists )
2. He also could have taken amphetamines which would have enhanced the cocaine and benzodiazepines which would have done the same to the heroin . Any one of these combinations could have killed him
R.I.P Mr .Hoffman

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