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Philip Seymour Hoffman died of accidental drug overdose, coroner rules

LAST UPDATED: 01:22 p.m. HST, Feb 28, 2014

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

A spokeswoman for the New York City medical examiner said Hoffman died from a mix of heroin, cocaine, amphetamines and benzodiazepines, which are drugs such as Xanax and Valium that are widely prescribed for anxiety, trouble sleeping and other problems. His 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. 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.

Police had been investigating his death as a suspected drug overdose.

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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Barefootie wrote:
In the end, it really does nt matter in the grand scheme of things, but PS. Hoffman, killed himself willingly, when he chose to inject himself with such drugs; as a means to cope with the difficulties of the world around him. Where there better options open to him? Heck yes, but he did not avail himself of such services, choosing to 'blur and dull his senses' to the point of self extinction and leaving the world to grieve for what they perceived to be 'a good man' but in reality, he was totally selfish! Why do I say that he was selfish? Because he left a child of his, to fend for himself in this world, without the benefit of 'a fathers love and influence' as he grows up and in my opinion, which is purely egotistical, is the worst thing a person can do to any child!
on February 28,2014 | 02:17PM
cojef wrote:
To each his own. Pity him for him as he had demons within his self. Sad, yes for the family he left behind. For him, only scorn.
on February 28,2014 | 04:26PM
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