Monday, February 3, 2014

RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman


By
Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

Patch Adams.  The Big Lebowski.  Red Dragon.  Capote.  Philip Seymour Hoffman was the most incredible actor I've seen on film in a long time.  I'm not a professional film critic however I think I'm a pretty good judge of acting ability.  He had it in spades. 

Unfortunately, it was the 'Ace of Spades' that ultimately did him in.  You've probably heard by now that Academy Award Winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died yesterday, on Super Bowl Sunday of all days, from a heroin overdose.  Found dead with the needle still in his arm, Seymour was using heroin in little bags that were marked with the 'Ace of Spades' logo. Apparently, this type of heroin is easily sniffed and is causing lots of overdoses all over the country.  It now claims Hoffman as its latest victim.  

In a former life, I used to be a preacher (insert religious joke here).  That job required me to do funerals.  I've buried several people in my time as a man of the cloth.  It's not a fun thing to do.  Watching people grieve for their loved one who is gone and isn't coming back.  It's one thing when someone dies from terminal cancer at the age of 86 having lived a pretty long, productive and happy life.  However, at just 46 years old, Mr. Hoffman's death was pointless and 100% avoidable.  It sinks close to home as I am closing in on my 41st year on Planet Earth later this month.  But by the grace of God go I.  

Dr. Oz was on the news yesterday commenting on Hoffman's death and about the reality of drug addiction in general.  I respect Dr. Oz as I find him intelligent and a breath of fresh air in an otherwise often stuffy and arrogant profession.  However, I think Oz, while well-intentioned, misspoke yesterday.  He was very emphatic that drug addiction is a disease.  I agree with him on that point.  He also pushed the notion that there is no cure for addiction.  I only half agree with that statement.  While it is factual to say we do not have an absolute 100% cure that will eradicate addiction, it is also factual to say that we have a radical, 100% effective, 24 hour plan that can arrest, that is stop, the disease from progressing.  It's called sobriety (cessation of use) and recovery (change from the inside leading to outward change).  This is good news!  

I don't like doing funerals and I don't like writing about dead people.  It reminds me that life is short.  It shows me that so many things I think are important aren't and so many things I think aren't important really are important.  It's a wake up call.  I am thankful today that I am sober from drugs and alcohol although neither were an issue for me.  Again, but by the grace of God go I.  

And so, after 24 hours since his passing, I offer a fond "RIP" to Mr. Philip Seymour Hoffman. As Truman Capote once said, "Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act." Unfortunately, we are sorry to watch the way your third act unfolded.  Thank you for displaying your acting talents to the world.  We are richer because of your gifts.  May we all be inspired to seek health and wellness knowing that some day our third act will arrive too.  It's the least we can do as we live this gift called life in spite of it's inevitable arrival.  

If you or someone you love is in need of detox off of opiates, alcohol, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitate to call Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart at 1.877.773.3869.  We are here to help you detox and get your life back.  Give us a call.  You'll be glad you did.  

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