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Philip Seymour Hoffman Back on the Wagon


The well known actor Philip Seymour Hoffman recently completed a 10-day detox program following a relapse that started with prescription pills and escalated to heroin use. The star formerly had 23 years of sobriety, but what is most important is that he addressed his relapse before it was too bad and that he is clean and sober again.

Hoffman checked into a detox facility following a yearlong relapse. He fell off of the wagon by abusing prescription pills and eventually began using heroin. Thankfully, he was only using heroin for about a week before deciding to seek help for his addiction.

This rendezvous didn’t take his life, nor did it cost him his job, or any of the other things that we commonly hear accompanying benders. Did it affect his psyche and the way he felt about himself during this time? I have no doubt that it negatively impacted his health and his happiness. And, while I am glad he was able to seek treatment, it is important that we remember these types of happy endings aren’t guaranteed.

Sobriety, detoxes, recovery – these are all things that are always going to be available for people. However, we may not always have that opportunity to get clean and sober again. Many relapses are followed by death, insanity, and misery. Although this was not the case for Philip Seymour Hoffman, it very easily could have been, especially considering that he had begun using heroin. Hard drugs and alcohol are substances that can end careers, relationships, self-respect, and even lives.

Hoffman was very smart to seek treatment before things got as bad as they could have and he was very lucky to have had the opportunity to reclaim his sobriety. I have a lot of respect for him as well – he had 23 years of sobriety, relapsed, and got sober again. After any relapse, it is difficult to go through detox again, and admit that you need help.

However, this is an especially big thing because of the length of sobriety he had. With that amount of time, there is often a significant amount of shame and guilt that surrounds the fact that yet again, you’re getting loaded. These feelings can make it much harder to seek out help, even when help is desperately needed.

There are many stars today who are openly battling addiction. It is always inspiring to hear people share their experiences, strength, and hope with the world, but especially so with relapse and recovery. It really speaks to the core of how human we all are, and that we all make mistakes.

Not everyone has this exact experience, but it reminds me that, as long as I am alive, I have the opportunity to seek and find sobriety. I hope that Hoffman is happy and I applaud him for sharing his story with the world.

Works Cited

Maresca, Rachel. “Phillip Seymour Hoffman checked into 10-day detox for heroin abuse after 23-year sobriety.” 31 May 2013. NY Daily News. Web. 06 June 2013.

Saad, Nardine. “Report: Philip Seymour Hoffman completes detox after heroin relapse.” 31 May 2013. LA Times. Web. 06 June 2013.


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Written by

A native New Yorker, Bre loves the California scene and writing for Treatment4Addiction. She has been writing content for T4A for five months, and loves to learn new things, form opinions, and send them out to the world. Her interests include dance, singing, acting, talking with friends, being a daughter, and being the best big sister she can to her 16 year old brother. After attending ASU for a few months, she is interested in taking cosmetology classes and exploring her options. She looks forward to learning all she can, and doing something positive with that knowledge and experience.

Filed under: Addiction, Celebrity News, Recovery · Tags: detox, Heroin, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, prescription pills, relapse, sobriety is operated by Recovery Brands LLC, a subsidiary of American Addiction Centers, Inc.
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