I have just read an interesting article related to P.S.Hoffman’s tragic death last 2nd of February. Its author was wondering why would someone who has been sober for the last twenty-odd years have a relapse on his addiction. According to this article, the experts assert that most people who have been able to stay sober for five years would stay so indefinitely. But an addiction is an ongoing situation in life despite remaining sober. It is enough to have one drink, to smoke one joint, to snort one line, to have one fix and our body will remember; whichever connections were rewired, they will remember and it would take little time to start a vertiginous inverted spiralling movement into addiction.
All those years gone by without the slavery of it, can make one feel one’s above it as if it never took place, can make one feel overconfident, can make one say those words: “I can control it”, “it’s just this one time”. It can make one put a larger dose into a body readjusted to sobriety, as it happens to so many people, causing death.
It is really a feat being able to stay sober for twenty-odd years being surrounded by Hollywood people, many of whom may see nothing wrong with using drugs as if it was part of their profession. Even ordinary people are usually bombarded with friendly invitations by others who do not see anything wrong with it, who do not consider themselves as addicts and just want to share something which is nice for them with others, disregarding the fact that some people are addicts. It just happens everyday. Alcohol, for instance, is used as a social facilitator in formal situations, and the minute you refuse to have a drink you become a weirdo and a suspect. They insist on your having a drink in social occasions. The only way to avoid it which comes to my mind is by getting out of the closet and saying “I’m an addict”, but it does not work, as people keep on insisting. They will insist and when the damage is done, nobody will help you, because it just takes one time to lose it and on many occasions, the same people who offered you whatever, will then laugh at your weakness. They will not make amends for what you lose. But anyway, this is only one of the factors implicated, the environment. There are so many factors involved, and we are just imperfect human beings.
So long, Philip Seymour Hoffman…