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Relapse and Death of A High Functioning Alcoholic

Old 02-03-2014, 11:13 AM
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Relapse and Death of A High Functioning Alcoholic

I was saddened to see, in this morning’s New York Times, that the actor, Philip Hoffman (1967-2014), is dead, apparently from an overdose of heroin. Hoffman is reported to have had a long struggle with alcohol and drugs, but also had impressive periods of sobriety, during which he starred in numerous films, often portraying the dark interior struggles of ordinary folk, like Willie Loman in Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman”. Due to his achievements one might call him a “high functioning alcoholic”, a success despite a lifelong struggle with his inner demons. As Willie Loman’s wife said at her husband’s funeral, “He's a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. He's not to be allowed to fall in his grave like an old dog. Attention must finally be paid to such a person.” His life illustrates so well that, despite long periods of sobriety the struggle is never ending. Not a white knuckling “dry drunk” but an awareness that something behind you may be watching your back.

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Old 02-03-2014, 12:29 PM
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This was such a sad story. Many celebrity deaths in the spotlight lately involving overdoses.

It is an ongoing struggle-be aware everyone!
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:39 PM
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God!!!
I have seen him in films...

Did not know about him.
Feel very sad about his loss!!!
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Old 02-03-2014, 01:49 PM
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Thanks for the post. I believe they said he was sober for over 20 years.

Left behind three kids and a spouse.

It's an everyday thing - that's for sure.

"Every morning brings a new day. Every night that day is through." P. McCartney
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Old 02-03-2014, 03:27 PM
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Clear Light: You wrote in part "Thanks for the post. I believe they said he was sober for over 20 years."
Yes, the news item said that in a TV interview awhile back he said that he had given up drinking when he was 22 (that would be 1989)- so this would have been his 25th year, except for a relapse more recently when he went to a rehab because he was back on heroin due, he said, to a dependency he had developed on prescription drugs. Thus it appears that, despite years of claimed sobriety and achievement, he still remained vulnerable.

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