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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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jamestau1 March 01 2014 at 1:40 AM

You need to rethink that statement. The world has us all by the ass. And it can and in some cases gets the best of you. No matter who you are. I it’s very sad.


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Pearl March 01 2014 at 8:41 AM

Get off of this subject, but the self egotistical, over indulging addict to rest, he was just a pig, and self deprecating fool.

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1 reply
Billy Rogers Pearl March 01 2014 at 9:03 AM

Pearl, when you used the word 'pig' you aptly and with finesse labeled yourself so well. Congratulations, Pearl, you are now a Nothing.

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shag1214 February 28 2014 at 7:56 PM

I am sorry that Hoffman died of an overdose. I am sure he struggled this addiction his whole life as all addicts do. What bothers me is the fact that since he is an " famous actor" people have ben arrested that could have been his dealer. There are so many overdoses on our young teens and young adults in Long Island, yet when they die we dont see police and investigations into "who" sold them the pills, heroin etc. Why is that. Is an actors life worth so much more than our own childrens lives. A child a day is dying from an overdose, when will something be done to stop these statistics and save our children.

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1 reply
rufus shag1214 February 28 2014 at 8:17 PM

actors are worth nothing to me except as people i pay to entertain me, and i'm a cheap person. that would let you lnow hpw much they are really worth. I REALLY DOUBT ANYONE WATCHED HUNGER GAMES TO SEE HOFFMAN, I KNOW I DIDN'T.

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Carolyn March 01 2014 at 8:38 AM

Another self absorbed pos hollyweird azzhole... good riddance, hope you like it in hell...lol

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Zoe February 28 2014 at 5:43 PM

Maybe he slipped and fell onto that needle they found in his arm. Now that would be an accident.

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HarrisonRW March 01 2014 at 8:21 AM

Just another hollywood idiot. Didn't loose any sleep over his death ! F him !

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Dede February 28 2014 at 6:38 PM

Its very sad. I lost my brother to a drug overdose and it was heartbreaking. He was very intelligent but unfortunately just couldn't (or didn't want to) kick it. Its like watching a person slowly commit suicide and there's nothing you can do. My heart goes out to his survivors; friends, children, family, who will have to live with the pain of losing a loved one for the rest of their lives. Some days you feel so bad for what you've lost, and other days you feel anger at the person for doing such a selfish thing. Drugs can be very evil and they don't discriminate.

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Becky February 28 2014 at 4:59 PM

They ruled it as an accident? How the hell do you rule it an accident when that concoction was in his blood - he had to have mixed that all himself - injected it himself and still had bags upon bags of the drugs in his appartment! That was no "Accident" - that was a suiside. They just say that so his kid or whoever could get his insurance money.

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3 replies
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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bearoaks16027uv February 28 2014 at 9:16 PM

Great actor.... too bad he was a junkie

Flag Reply +3 rate up
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