A tintype photograph believed to be one of his last public appearances during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
Drug and alcohol abuse is no doubt prevalent among our musicians, artists and actors. The recent tragic death of Oscar winning actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman, 46, is testimony to this. The actor was found dead in his apartment with 70 bags of heroin – five of which were empty and 65 bags that were still unused, and 20 used needles inside his home on Sunday, 2nd February 2014.
Last year, Hoffman had told celebrity news website TMZ that he had sought treatment for drug abuse before as he had been battling with the addiction for 23 years.
Hoffman started using drugs in his youth and while talking to a journalist he admitted that he often worried about his health when he was doing drugs regularly in his youth. Prior to his death, Hoffman had been seen by a diner at
He also had been kicked out by his longtime girlfriend, Mimi O’Donnell, from their home on grounds that he needed some time away from their kids and that he needed to be straight. According to the New York Post, Hoffman moved into an apartment a few blocks away from the home he shared with his girlfriend and kids.
South African entertainers have also lost their lives to this addiction, notably Tsakani “TK” Mhangi and our very own beloved pop diva, Brenda Fassie. A drug addiction can have very fatal consequences and this is no laughing matter. For people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol it is an everyday struggle to stay sober. The most recent media reports are of hip-hop star ‘Jub-Jub’, who is currently serving time for the death of four teenage students whom he killed while drag racing with his co-accused, Themba Tshabalala, after consuming alcohol and drugs. And that is just a small fraction of the consequences caused by the scourge of drug abuse.
It is often said that celebrities opt for drugs and alcohol when the going gets tough in Celebville. This is when they have been overpowered with pressure and by the expectations weighed upon them by the media. On the other hand, it can be when they have hit a brick-wall and aren’t getting too many gigs and/or jobs to help them maintain their celeb lifestyles and so-called-friends are then suddenly “unavailable” to help out.We have lost a great share of best entertainers to drug and alcohol abuse. The Narconon SA, a drug and rehabilitation centre, which focuses on holistic intervention, detoxification, and commitment to a drug free life is open for free assessments to entertainers in Gauteng and in Cape Town. As cliché as this may sound, admitting you have a problem is the first step to concurring it, help follows.
The struggle to stay sober is way more than the poor articulation of what is depicted in the tabloids for these people. Families and mostly children may be lost and consequently, people’s lives are lost. Tough love to these victims may seem to be the best way to get them to act better or try to seek help but without support and a point in the right direction it is merely nothing other than pouring salt in an open wound.
The film and theatre world is mourning the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman worldwide. Yet, another extraordinary talent has fallen. The struggle to stay sober continues.