On Philip Seymour Hoffman and addiction. An explanation for non-addicts


Millions are baffled and confused by the untimely overdose death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. Recovering addict / alcoholics like myself call you “normies.” There’s no reason you should or could understand addiction. My white powder choice of poison (many years ago) was meth. Hoffman’s was heroin. It all ends up the same place with hurt, angry friends and family, destruction of most everything once valued, and too often with early deaths (or prison or mental hospitals.)

You can not help an addict or alcoholic unless they want help. Trying to help when they don’t want it is like walking into a buzzsaw. Seriously. All you can do is be there when they’re ready.

How do you tell the difference between an alcoholic and an addict? An alcoholic will steal your money, spend it on booze, come back, burst into tears and admit he stole the money. An addict will steal your money, spend it on drugs, come back and help you look for the money.

‘White Light White Heat’ by the Velvet Underground is about meth. It really describes the madness well. You know it’s killing you but you can’t stop because, really, you just gotta do one more hit.

“White light coming messing up my mind
don’t you know it’s gonna make me go blind.

White light coming messing up my brain,
White light is gonna drive me insane.
White heat tickles me down to my toes.
Lord what mercy white light has, goodness knows.

White light, lightens up my eyes
don’t you know it filled me with surprise.
White heat tickles me down to my toes
White light, I tell you, goodness knows”