Phillip Seymour Hoffman

When the news of Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s overdose hit the web, my stomach turned. My brother’s face immediately appeared to me in all the PSH news feed and everything I read about the father of three’s overdose felt like I was reading about my brother’s own death. Knowing an addict does this to you. Each death attributed to heroin should have been my brother’s, could have been my brothers, and still could be my brother’s.

Addicts don’t live long and happy lives.

Sober for 23 years and he dies with a needle in his arm and 70 bags of heroin in his house. 

Heroin doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t give a shit if you are white, black, famous, poor, married with kids, or a boy who never grew up. Heroin wants you dead. From the first use to the last, the only goal of heroin is to kill you.

When I was growing up I always knew that heroin was a death sentance. I saw Trainspotting in 1995 and the dead baby scene sealed the deal. I would never ever do heroin. I did other drugs though and luckily I made it through the haze. I grew up and left my experimentations with drugs behind.

Others are not so lucky. My brother was not so lucky. After a soccer injury my brother’s doctor prescribed him oxycodone for the pain. He became addicted to the pills and when he couldn’t get any more refills he started buying them on his college campus. His habit was expensive though and when a ‘friend’ introduced him to the cheaper version aka heroin he indulged. That choice has cost him the past 10 years.

Heroin addiction is so hard to understand. Even coming clean doesn’t really mean you are clean. That desire to use never goes away and the addict battles that desire daily. It’s not their fault. The drug takes over the brain and they have no choice.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman had no choice. That lingering pull of the drug never went away and the battle he fought daily to stay sober ended up being a losing battle. The heroin won, it rarely loses. Image

RIP Phillip Seymour Hoffman 1967-2014

 

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15 thoughts on “Phillip Seymour Hoffman”

  1. As the mother of a 28 year old heroin addict I feel your every word . I just replace “brother ” with “son ” and like you have been dealing with it for 10 years. And yes it started with OxyContin as well . I hate heroin it always wins . And like you the baby scene in Trainspotting pretty much summed it up for me too .

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  2. I read all of your posts and find myself in a lot of the things you say. My brother was addicted to OxyContin and whatever other prescription painkiller he could get his hands on to shoot up. I too just wanted to have my old brother back, it’s so painful to know what potential a person has/had and they just throw it away for a high. I try to distant myself but then I think about the burden of my mother having to deal with it all…somedays I feel like it’d be better to run away from everyone than have to deal with his latest shenanigans.
    My brother is now on methadone and while it’s keeping him away from painkillers, he hasn’t been able to get on his feet job wise due to tarnishing his reputation while a junkie. He’s not back to his old self but time will tell.

    I can only hope your brother will one day give his head a shake and go back to his old self too. It’s a tough, tough road to be on.

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  3. Upon reading all your post I could relate to the samethings that you say my younger brother who barely turn 18 is addict. It truthfully is a never ending battle . Me and him have no contact whatso ever and let alone a realtionship because of this disease. Its a sad thing to see one of your love ones starting to become lost to this disease.

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  4. i just found out yesterday that the reason my brother acts so strange is because he too is a herion addict. Im going to lose my brother to a cheap fix…..

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  5. wow, someone understands what I’m going through. it is 3:42am here in Los Angeles & I’m trying to look for something, anything… something that will help me try to understand my younger brothers heroin addiction. WHY? trying to figure out why my mom is still enabling him.
    he was arrested last sunday, again for maybe the 5th or 6th time and I’m so pissed and sad and I keep telling myself that I’m super done with his bullshit and over him… I’m so fucking lost. I’m so thankful that I have found your blog.

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  6. I just typed “My brother is a heroin addict” in to Google and your blog was one of the first links to pop up. My brother will be 35 on March 30th and he is a full blown addict. Just today he said to me on the phone that he isn’t an addict, it’s called a relapse. Well OK then, I said. Thanks so much for clarifying that. I am filled with fear, desperation and anger but really, mostly anger. And ya know I’m more angry with my parents than anyone because they are enablers. I understand addiction as I’ve grown up watching and supporting multiple family members and friends through the program so as hard as it is to not be angry at the addict, I understand that it’s a disease they are fighting. But my parents? My parents who always make sure there is a roof over his head, even if they catch him shooting up in their basement (happened at my dads 3 weeks ago) to carting him around like they are his chauffeur and making sure he has a little money in his pocket. We have a family meeting with an addictions counselor on Wednesday. It is my final straw, my search for closure.

    My baby brother – the sweet, sandy blonde little cuddly kid with the biggest personality you can imagine is now a full blown, manipulative, conniving, thieving drug addict and there is absolutely nothing I can do or say to change that. I felt and thought the exact same thing when Philip Seymour Hoffman died. It’s very, very sad.

    Thank you for your blog; I know exactly where you are every day.

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  7. I just found your blog today. My brother will be 30 in May (if he makes it to 30). He has been a drug addict since he was 15 (there isn’t a drug he hasn’t tried…except maybe Meth, who knows) but heroin has been his drug of choice for the past 2-3 years. Even on the other drugs he was able to live independently and have a job. But since heroin, it just all fell apart. Last night he was in the ER for getting into a fight. He is homeless. He has been in and out of detox and rehab. But nothing ever sticks and nothing is ever his fault. He actually blames his ex girlfriend for the reason why he started using H. It’s so frustrating because he has torn my parents apart. I worry about their physical and mental health every day. He has screwed them over financially and mentally again and again. I am so tired of it. He is the godfather of my first born and he isn’t allowed to see him or my baby (who he has only seen once…the day he was born). It feels like I don’t have a brother. I just have this person I share DNA with who hijacks my family and puts them in a downward spiral of despair. I get that it is an illness, but it’s also a choice. No one forced him to do this. He did it to himself and he is taking everyone else down with him as emotional hostages. It’s really frustrating.

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  8. I just took my younger brother to detox. He has been using drugs since age 12 and is now 26. He has done every drug, but most recent heroin and meth. He asked me for help 3 weeks ago. I found him a detox and a bed at teen challenge. I feel like you about it. Every junkie on the street has his face and every homeless person looks just like him. It’s just me that wants to help him get better. My story is long, but I want to say thank you for sharing yourself with us.

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  9. I’m glad I found your blog. I have no idea what drugs my brother is addicted to. I hope he doesn’t graduate to heroin. What I know for sure is he’s gambling, stealing (from family and strangers) and God knows what else. I also keep thinking he’s going to die all the time. I’m at my wits end about what to do to help him. It’s so hard to watch helplessly as someone you love self destructs.

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  10. I have been searching for blogs about heroin addiction and I’m so glad I found yours. My older brother is 26 years old, and has been struggling with addition for over 5 years. it’s like we are all riding a roller coaster with him and there is no way off. My family and I ache that he will get the help that he needs in order to stay clean and sober. Right now, it is the worst we have ever seen him. The addiction has always convinced him to steal from his loved ones and lie. He is a completely different person and I can’t stand what the heroin makes him become.The worst part is, I don’t even think he has come to the realization that he NEEDS help. We have tried to tell him and he is in complete denial, he says he gives up, it doesn’t work, he has tried so many times. Part of me understands how much guilt he must have, how embarrassed he is, and how hard it really must be. But another part of me just wants to give up and cut him off. Its toxic to my family. I can’t even bare to hear my mother cry and my father try to comfort the pain running through the house. My family is sick and tired of having to watch over our backs, hiding our belongings in our own home.
    Thank you for your blog, it really helps me realize that I am not the only one going through this. I used to be embarrassed of what people and society thought of my brother’s heroin addiction, and kept it to myself. I too have created somewhat of a thick skin in order to deal with the things my brother has done to us.
    Thank you for sharing

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  11. Thank you for writting about your experiences in your blog, and also those who wrote here in the comment section. I realized now that I am not the only one passing through this hell. I am 23, and my brother is 27. He’s been using for over year and a half, but I just knew until last Christmas. Since then, I’ve felt like my life has changed so much, sometimes it’s hard for me to feel inspired about my work, the things I have passion for. In the past 7 months my brother has relapsed 3 times. My mom and I always notice it right away; his voice changes, the way he expresses himself, his habits, the things he talks about, everything. My father is in denial, no matter how skinny, pale, bad looking he is, he will always say to me “what are you talking about? he’s fine!” He’s blinded with love. I love my brother too, but the real one, but on heroin he becomes the most hateful, arrogant and even abusive person I’ve ever known. Sometimes he disgusts me so much. Now I can’t even tell him he needs to find help, because he’ll portray me as a crazy woman, while I see he can barely walk and keep his eyes open, while I live in the next room thinking how is this going to end. The other time I told him I couldn’t take it anymore, that I’m finding a way to move out and he laughed and made fun of me. Later he told me I was the only reason he was making an effort to be fine, because he had no motives on his own. Addicts can be really manipulative, but you can’t help them, only they can really help themselves. I sincerely, send you all my support.

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  12. My heroin/methadone/alcohol/millions of cigarettes a day addicted brother will be 70 (yes that’s right) next month.
    He has been this way for more than 50 years, give or take all the stints in rehab and jail. Addicts are skinny but they eat everyone and everything good and spit them out. They are fat with self-pity and lies.
    I’ve said the words too- that I love my brother but not the drugs. It’s taken me a long time to realize this- he actually is the drugs. He prefers using to anyone. I am 63 and wish I walked away a long time ago.
    I’m tired of waiting for the day when he will die. I feel that he will attend all of his three siblings funerals and be the last one standing.

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