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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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Gloria's Toy February 28 2014 at 5:54 PM

R THEY BLAMING ROBERT VINEBERG FOR HOFFMANS DEATH. WOW DID HE PUT THE NEEDLE IN HIS ARM TOO. SO, BECAUSE ROBERT HAD A HEROIN STASH IN HIM APARTMENT, HE'S GUILTY. LOOK AT ALL THE PEOPLE IN THAT HOUSING APARTMENTS AND YOU'LL FIND THE SAME THING OR MORE..

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1 reply
Terrena Gloria's Toy February 28 2014 at 6:30 PM

I agree he is guilty but at the same time people who facilitate in illegal things are considered guilty under the law the way it is written.

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darlin4112 February 28 2014 at 5:42 PM

This does not sound accidential to me..when you mix heroin, cocaine, amphetamines and benzodiazepines, what do you THINK would happen ?

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2 replies
Michael darlin4112 February 28 2014 at 5:44 PM

Get a good high. But this was too "high" Like icarus he burned and died.

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1 reply
dehdeh14 Michael February 28 2014 at 6:48 PM

why couldnt have been smarter? , it doesnt take much of that stuff to get a good feeling . im not condoning it at all , but you have to know your limits if youre gonna mess with that stuff .

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Kate darlin4112 February 28 2014 at 5:53 PM

All overdoses are accidental, and because you don't know anything addiction I can help. The probability is very high that what he injected is what's known as an eight ball, which is a combination of heroin and cocaine. The idea is the same as taking benzo's and amphetamines at the same time: you don't get too manic from the uppers (amphetamines and cocaine) and you don't get too 'down' from the heroin and benzo's. This is very dangerous to mess with, obviously, but it's extremely common among addicts.

He was clearly trying to control the level of what he was feeling by alternating one type of substance with another.

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Kahane was right February 28 2014 at 5:41 PM

Because Adam Lanza didn't kill anyone. The gun did it all by itself.

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cabinsmoke February 28 2014 at 5:40 PM

Half the people at the Oscars will have the same crap in their system...just lower levels.

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1 reply
gmppti cabinsmoke February 28 2014 at 5:45 PM

True....and they are the ones who are the role models for our youth??

Drug addiction, at the end of the day, is a choice.

Being irresponsable because you have the time and money to be so can lead to bad choices.

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Shane February 28 2014 at 5:36 PM

Drugs,money,power when you let them go to your head you will suffer the consequences. So many great ones have passed. When will they learn? Where is God in any if this. Have we forgotten to practice the religious freedom that brought us to this country in the first place. At some point a vast majority of Americans have turned away from what has made this country to be great. Yes we are not as great as we used to be but how many of you are planning on going to church this weekend? And if you cannot make it try to worship in your own way. lol rip fubar

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cee cee allen February 28 2014 at 5:35 PM

It's unfortunate that when a celebrity dies of an overdose, the law enforcement community can immediately coalesce to solve the origin of the drug(s). Twenty four hours after Hoffman died, they already had leads to drug dealers in his neighborhood. Let an overdose (accident) happen to just a plain Jane Doe or John Doe --and then tomorrow comes. Hoffman did not have a gun to his head to take drugs, I understand the addictive fatal quality of drugs, alcohol, etc. Hoffman was weaker against his demons......but I'm just sayin', How many drug addicted youth who could have made a positive impact on society, who have OD'd would even have had an honorable mention of their demise?

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1 reply
Zoe cee cee allen February 28 2014 at 5:38 PM

I think it may be because so many hundreds of thousands of people know who he was, as opposed to the ordinary Jane Doe.

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seacord March 01 2014 at 12:14 AM

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

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shayikajones February 28 2014 at 5:31 PM

leave the man ALONE!!!! No one knows what hell he was going through or why he felt he needed the drugs to escape. ADDICTION IS A DISEASE and he's made attempts to get clean by going to rehab. I HOPE HE IS A PEACE NOW. I also hope other addicts learn a lesson from his tragic death and do everything in their power to get clean. RIP

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1 reply
Michael shayikajones February 28 2014 at 5:38 PM

We have to leave him alone...
He is DEAD!
He is at peace now...
He is DEAD!
The lesson is too valuable too learn from because...
He is DEAD!

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bcbrand February 28 2014 at 5:30 PM

JUST because he had what a lot of people call "MADE IN THE SHADE" doesn't mean everything is perfect...what once were vices can soon become habits..AND THAT IS SOMETHING THAT EVERYONE SHOULD BE AWARE OF....NOT JUST THE RICH AND FAMOUS...
WATCH YO' ASSES.....AND SOMETIMES JUST LIVING FOR THE MOMENT CAN HAVE IT'S CONSEQUENCES ON THE REST OF TIME//

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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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