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(USA Today)   Aaron Sorkin says that Phillip Seymour Hoffman "did not die from an 'overdose' of heroin - he died from heroin. We should stop implying that if he'd just taken the proper amount then everything would have been fine"   (usatoday.com) divider line 132
    More: Interesting, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Aaron Sorkin, heroin, 2007 in film, overdose, West Wing  
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2853 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 06 Feb 2014 at 12:30 PM (9 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-02-06 09:35:35 AM
But he did die of an "overdose."  Whereas no amount of heroin is good, a "dose" of heroin is the amount of heroin needed to achieve a desired effect.  This is true of any drug.  An "overdose" is an amount that achieves an undesired, and negative, effect.  So, yes.  He died of an overdose.
 
2014-02-06 09:37:50 AM

AntiGravitas: But he did die of an "overdose."  Whereas no amount of heroin is good, a "dose" of heroin is the amount of heroin needed to achieve a desired effect.  This is true of any drug.  An "overdose" is an amount that achieves an undesired, and negative, effect.  So, yes.  He died of an overdose.


What if the desired effect is death?
 
2014-02-06 09:45:35 AM
So I suppose Aaron Sorkin doesn't drink alcohol for the same reasons.
 
2014-02-06 09:57:44 AM

AntiGravitas: But he did die of an "overdose."  Whereas no amount of heroin is good, a "dose" of heroin is the amount of heroin needed to achieve a desired effect.  This is true of any drug.  An "overdose" is an amount that achieves an undesired, and negative, effect.  So, yes.  He died of an overdose.


Yes, but the larger point stands. I don't imagine many heroin addicts die of old age, so if the foreseeable result of heroin addiction is death by unnatural causes, then it is equally valid to say he died of heroin addiction, which changes the connotation of the death from "accident" to "disease" which is much more valuable in how we as a society think about drug use.
 
2014-02-06 09:59:42 AM

Rev.K: So I suppose Aaron Sorkin doesn't drink alcohol for the same reasons.


I think he knows more about addiction than many others.
 
2014-02-06 10:03:45 AM
Jerry Garcia might disagree on that one. Jerry had more issues than just heroin though, but he was a high functioning heroin addict. Then again, he could afford to be...
 
2014-02-06 10:05:08 AM

enry: I think he knows more about addiction than many others.


Which makes his point all the more stupid.

People can die of alcohol consumption. Either over a lifetime or period of years, or even in a single binge if they drink a colossal amount.

But there is an 'ok' amount of alcohol. You can drink a beer and not die.

And alcohol is a drug, just like heroin.
 
2014-02-06 10:05:55 AM

hubiestubert: Jerry Garcia might disagree on that one. Jerry had more issues than just heroin though, but he was a high functioning heroin addict. Then again, he could afford to be...


Genetic lottery?
 
2014-02-06 10:07:38 AM

hubiestubert: Jerry Garcia might disagree on that one. Jerry had more issues than just heroin though, but he was a high functioning heroin addict. Then again, he could afford to be...


I fondly recall a story about how the rest of the Dead staged an intervention for Jerry where they presented him an ultimatum that if he didn't quit heroin the band was over.

Without missing a beat he said he chose heroin, they sheepishly backed down, and the band went on.
 
2014-02-06 10:09:12 AM

ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha: AntiGravitas: But he did die of an "overdose."  Whereas no amount of heroin is good, a "dose" of heroin is the amount of heroin needed to achieve a desired effect.  This is true of any drug.  An "overdose" is an amount that achieves an undesired, and negative, effect.  So, yes.  He died of an overdose.

What if the desired effect is death?


then he was spot on.
 
2014-02-06 10:12:06 AM
What no HERO tag for speaking the plain truth?
The idiocracy is bleeding into news.
I get a head ache attempting to translate even NPR half the time.
 
2014-02-06 10:13:02 AM

hubiestubert: Jerry Garcia might disagree on that one. Jerry had more issues than just heroin though, but he was a high functioning heroin addict. Then again, he could afford to be...


He was a stinking fat junkie.
he stunk
smelled
he was fat
obese
and he was a junkie
a stinking fat junkie.
 
2014-02-06 10:13:09 AM

Rev.K: And alcohol is a drug, just like heroin.


By that token so are sugar and chocolate, but having a sweet tooth isn't the same as alcohol addiction.
 
2014-02-06 10:13:33 AM

AntiGravitas: But he did die of an "overdose."  Whereas no amount of heroin is good, a "dose" of heroin is the amount of heroin needed to achieve a desired effect.  This is true of any drug.  An "overdose" is an amount that achieves an undesired, and negative, effect.  So, yes.  He died of an overdose.


Yep.  Though I'd disagree with "no amount of heroin is good", it's an opiate and if it were administered by a doctor under proper circumstances for pain mitigation, it's no worse than morphine.  Of course, it isn't ever, but it could be in theory.
 
2014-02-06 10:18:18 AM

Rev.K: enry: I think he knows more about addiction than many others.

Which makes his point all the more stupid.

People can die of alcohol consumption. Either over a lifetime or period of years, or even in a single binge if they drink a colossal amount.

But there is an 'ok' amount of alcohol. You can drink a beer and not die.

And alcohol is a drug, just like heroin.


It's not the alcohol that kills them though.  It's the cirrhosis or heart disease or obesity or whatever that extended alcohol abuse causes.  Yes people die from alcohol overdose but I'm not sure if it's at the same rate as dying from herion overdose.  For example, you have to drink a LOT to get to that point and since you're generally ingesting alcohol you start vomiting it up which prevents you from having too much of an overdose.  When you inject heroin your body has no similar way of getting rid of it before you have too much.

If you ever watched West Wing, Leo McGarry had an interesting observation about addiction that probably came straight from Sorkin.  It was on the lines of "For a non-addict, it's just a drink.  An addict can't stop at one."
 
2014-02-06 10:19:14 AM

thismomentinblackhistory: hubiestubert: Jerry Garcia might disagree on that one. Jerry had more issues than just heroin though, but he was a high functioning heroin addict. Then again, he could afford to be...

Genetic lottery?


Heroin as an addiction is odd. So long as you have enough, and aren't worried about your supply, and have access to regular medical care, the cumulative effects aren't as bad as meth or a lot of other drugs. When you are worried about your supply, are on the sly about it, and are in crappy living conditions, it gets bad very fast. Access to good quality product--not cut with odds and ends--and not having to share needles and otherwise having a stable living situation, folks can go years without much issue--you know, other than nodding off and missing out on a lot of life. When your supply is an issue, and you're scrambling to make ends meet, and you have to make decisions about heroin or food, heroin or rent, heroin or people, then it gets dicey real fast.
 
2014-02-06 10:38:54 AM
The poppies died because Hoffman was a selfish twat.
 
2014-02-06 10:52:59 AM

Rev.K: enry: I think he knows more about addiction than many others.

Which makes his point all the more stupid.

People can die of alcohol consumption. Either over a lifetime or period of years, or even in a single binge if they drink a colossal amount.

But there is an 'ok' amount of alcohol. You can drink a beer and not die.

And alcohol is a drug, just like heroin.


Which may be why he also said:
"Phil Hoffman and I had two things in common, We were both fathers of young children, and we were both recovering drug addicts. "He didn't die because he was partying too hard or because he was depressed - he died because he was an addict on a day of the week with a y in it."

 and he's right.  If you are a heroin addict and you do not receive help in time it WILL kill you because your system quickly builds up a tolerance to the drug and the amount you need to get you high rapidly approaches, and then inevitably exceeds the amount that stops your breathing.

Alcohol will also kill you and also builds up a tolerance, but it kills your more slowly, but much more irreversibly.  Most people will pass out before taking an LD of Alcohol (though VERY long term alcoholics can get up to .5 BAC or so -which would be fatal for a normal person- and still say conscious)  Instead alcohol wrecks your internal organs systemically and eventually your liver craps out.  But alcohol is not addictive for most people not carrying the addiction gene.  Heroin is addictive to nearly everyone.
 
2014-02-06 10:57:46 AM

hubiestubert: thismomentinblackhistory: hubiestubert: Jerry Garcia might disagree on that one. Jerry had more issues than just heroin though, but he was a high functioning heroin addict. Then again, he could afford to be...

Genetic lottery?

Heroin as an addiction is odd. So long as you have enough, and aren't worried about your supply, and have access to regular medical care, the cumulative effects aren't as bad as meth or a lot of other drugs. When you are worried about your supply, are on the sly about it, and are in crappy living conditions, it gets bad very fast. Access to good quality product--not cut with odds and ends--and not having to share needles and otherwise having a stable living situation, folks can go years without much issue--you know, other than nodding off and missing out on a lot of life. When your supply is an issue, and you're scrambling to make ends meet, and you have to make decisions about heroin or food, heroin or rent, heroin or people, then it gets dicey real fast.


My momma the nurse, who spent fifty plus years dealing with junkies and drunks at PG General told me flat out when I was a teen.  "I don't want you to ever use drugs, but if you are gonna...get hooked on smack or coke or something, not booze.  The hard drugs will kill you you if you take too much, but if you get help and if you manage to kick them, your body will recover from what you did to it in a few years and it'll be like it never happened.  Drunks on the other hand destroy their bodies and there is no undoing the damage that ten years as an alcoholic will do to you"
 
2014-02-06 11:04:10 AM
the major takeaway from the keith richards autobiography: kids, don't do drugs... unless you can do the very best drugs.
 
2014-02-06 12:04:59 PM

nmrsnr: it is equally valid to say he died of heroin addiction, which changes the connotation of the death from "accident" to "disease" which is much more valuable in how we as a society think about drug use.


As a society we already seem to have decided that when a musician, actor, sports star, or artist dies from drugs it's a "tragedy" and they "had their demons" and although they "battled bravely" they couldn't "overcome them".

But when somebody else dies from drugs, they were just an addict.
 
2014-02-06 12:16:08 PM

enry: Rev.K: So I suppose Aaron Sorkin doesn't drink alcohol for the same reasons.

I think he knows more about addiction than many others.


No he's in recovery so he knows that he personally can't use any intoxicant and  from there he assumes that his model is the only valid model.  Aaron Sorkin is no more an expert on addiction than Jane Velez Mitchell.
 
2014-02-06 12:36:51 PM
A lot of can't see the forest for the trees in the replies in this thread.

I think the point was pretty clear, and it's a good point to make. While it was too much heroin that killed him, when one is an addict, any amount is an overdose, and usually does eventually kill the addict.

You can apply it to heroin, alcohol, meth, pick your substance abuse addiction.
 
2014-02-06 12:37:29 PM

AntiGravitas: But he did die of an "overdose."  Whereas no amount of heroin is good, a "dose" of heroin is the amount of heroin needed to achieve a desired effect.  This is true of any drug.  An "overdose" is an amount that achieves an undesired, and negative, effect.  So, yes.  He died of an overdose.


While I understand the point of TFA, you are correct, and I came here to say the same thing.
 
2014-02-06 12:38:18 PM
i.imgur.com

Heroin addict from the early 1940's on. Died in 1997 at 83 years old.
 
2014-02-06 12:38:19 PM
"The dose makes the poison"

--Para celsus

"Bbbbbuuuuuurrrrrrraaaaaappppppp"

--Pair of seltzers


He died of self-medicating.
 
2014-02-06 12:41:45 PM
"I don't want one drink. I want ten."
 
2014-02-06 12:42:09 PM
I was going to bring up Burrough's too, but I see that has been taken care of.

My understanding is that if you had a reliable source and would not run out of money you could manage a habit without any real detriment to your health.  The bad side effects of heroin are from junkies without money using dirty needles, getting infections, running out of heroin/money, etc.  If you had enough to maintain yourself at all times you could remain pretty functional and suffer very little side effects.
 
2014-02-06 12:43:47 PM
The junkie is still dead, right?  Then who cares...
 
2014-02-06 12:45:07 PM
Kinda like saying the "jump" from a window didn't kill a man - the "landing" did.
 
2014-02-06 12:45:14 PM

nekom: Yep. Though I'd disagree with "no amount of heroin is good", it's an opiate and if it were administered by a doctor under proper circumstances for pain mitigation, it's no worse than morphine. Of course, it isn't ever, but it could be in theory.


Dilaudid. I've been told it's chemically identical to heroin (the injectable form of Dilaudid, anyway), only we know the purity and such, so we're more comfortable prescribing Dilaudid than saying "Go hang out at this intersection for an hour."
 
2014-02-06 12:45:55 PM

Blowmonkey: My understanding is that if you had a reliable source and would not run out of money you could manage a habit without any real detriment to your health. The bad side effects of heroin are from junkies without money using dirty needles, getting infections, running out of heroin/money, etc. If you had enough to maintain yourself at all times you could remain pretty functional and suffer very little side effects.


Hoffman had something like 70 bags of heroin per published reports.  That seems to be a decent supply.  He was in no danger of running out of money.

//Sorkin's statement is now only wrong, it is stupid.
 
2014-02-06 12:46:01 PM

chevydeuce: The junkie is still dead, right?  Then who cares...


"Let's add to that 10 people who were about to die who won't now."
 
2014-02-06 12:46:24 PM

nmrsnr: AntiGravitas: But he did die of an "overdose."  Whereas no amount of heroin is good, a "dose" of heroin is the amount of heroin needed to achieve a desired effect.  This is true of any drug.  An "overdose" is an amount that achieves an undesired, and negative, effect.  So, yes.  He died of an overdose.

Yes, but the larger point stands. I don't imagine many heroin addicts die of old age, so if the foreseeable result of heroin addiction is death by unnatural causes, then it is equally valid to say he died of heroin addiction, which changes the connotation of the death from "accident" to "disease" which is much more valuable in how we as a society think about drug use.


They die from heroin usually when they overdose. There can be cumulative health effects as well, but there are for many other things like smoking, drinking, eating fatty foods, yet I would bet that Aaron Sorkin isn't going to put these in the list. I understand what he's getting at, but the OP has a point.
 
2014-02-06 12:47:34 PM

Blowmonkey: I was going to bring up Burrough's too, but I see that has been taken care of.

My understanding is that if you had a reliable source and would not run out of money you could manage a habit without any real detriment to your health.  The bad side effects of heroin are from junkies without money using dirty needles, getting infections, running out of heroin/money, etc.  If you had enough to maintain yourself at all times you could remain pretty functional and suffer very little side effects.


Well lets add in wicked constipation,caused by a relaxing of the muscles in your intestine that leads to an eventual shut down of your digestive system, and your body shutting off its own endorphin production, and similar farking with your dopamine receptors,  leaving you almost literally unable to feel pleasure in anything (to say nothing of time in withdraw when you have almost no ability to regulate the sensation of pain in your body)
 
2014-02-06 12:50:14 PM

Snapper Carr: [i.imgur.com image 425x433]

Heroin addict from the early 1940's on. Died in 1997 at 83 years old.


Woodhouse?
 
2014-02-06 12:50:21 PM
yeah, this is jerry garcia all over again.  he didn't OD, but it was in his system.  he had just checked into rehab, so it was probably residual.

i semi regret, semi don't, not riding the silver dog from virginia to highgate in june '95 (proably would have been a 12 hour at best trip, that's a farking haul).  i had a ticket, said, "no thanks brotherman, i'll catch hopefully Philly and DC on fall tour."

my friend later said, as he was pretty close to the stage, "jerry looked.....he looked sick, man.  he looked bad.  concerned."  maybe about 2 months later, game over.
 
2014-02-06 12:50:31 PM

AntiGravitas: But he did die of an "overdose."  Whereas no amount of heroin is good, a "dose" of heroin is the amount of heroin needed to achieve a desired effect.  This is true of any drug.  An "overdose" is an amount that achieves an undesired, and negative, effect.  So, yes.  He died of an overdose.


Aaron Sorkin is right and also sounds like a whiny biatch. It happens.
 
2014-02-06 12:50:46 PM
Stanhope's counterpoint (NSFW)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0qJcGhmvqc
 
2014-02-06 12:54:54 PM

Blowmonkey: I was going to bring up Burrough's too, but I see that has been taken care of.

My understanding is that if you had a reliable source and would not run out of money you could manage a habit without any real detriment to your health.  The bad side effects of heroin are from junkies without money using dirty needles, getting infections, running out of heroin/money, etc.  If you had enough to maintain yourself at all times you could remain pretty functional and suffer very little side effects.


There is a difference some people do now want to be functional.  Some want to tune out and remove the world.  Tolerance builds up to that level of medication and you end up with a rolling snowball and death.
 
2014-02-06 01:02:46 PM

BSABSVR: enry: Rev.K: So I suppose Aaron Sorkin doesn't drink alcohol for the same reasons.

I think he knows more about addiction than many others.

No he's in recovery so he knows that he personally can't use any intoxicant and  from there he assumes that his model is the only valid model.  Aaron Sorkin is no more an expert on addiction than Jane Velez Mitchell.


You sound like you're an addict.
 
2014-02-06 01:08:29 PM

BSABSVR: enry: Rev.K: So I suppose Aaron Sorkin doesn't drink alcohol for the same reasons.

I think he knows more about addiction than many others.

No he's in recovery so he knows that he personally can't use any intoxicant and  from there he assumes that his model is the only valid model.  Aaron Sorkin is no more an expert on addiction than Jane Velez Mitchell.


I don't recall claiming he's an expert.
 
2014-02-06 01:12:30 PM

AntiGravitas: But he did die of an "overdose."  Whereas no amount of heroin is good, a "dose" of heroin is the amount of heroin needed to achieve a desired effect.  This is true of any drug.  An "overdose" is an amount that achieves an undesired, and negative, effect.  So, yes.  He died of an overdose.


This.

If he had taken less he would not be dead. Thus, he took too much. That's pretty much the definition of an overdose.
 
2014-02-06 01:15:20 PM

Dr Dreidel: nekom: Yep. Though I'd disagree with "no amount of heroin is good", it's an opiate and if it were administered by a doctor under proper circumstances for pain mitigation, it's no worse than morphine. Of course, it isn't ever, but it could be in theory.

Dilaudid. I've been told it's chemically identical to heroin (the injectable form of Dilaudid, anyway), only we know the purity and such, so we're more comfortable prescribing Dilaudid than saying "Go hang out at this intersection for an hour."


The only time I was given Dialudid I sat up in bed and said "I want to feel like this for the rest of my life"
 
2014-02-06 01:16:24 PM
I just have one question: when, exactly, is  subby coming back to close those quotation marks? The suspense is killing me.
 
2014-02-06 01:16:32 PM

SpectroBoy: AntiGravitas: But he did die of an "overdose."  Whereas no amount of heroin is good, a "dose" of heroin is the amount of heroin needed to achieve a desired effect.  This is true of any drug.  An "overdose" is an amount that achieves an undesired, and negative, effect.  So, yes.  He died of an overdose.

This.

If he had taken less he would not be dead. Thus, he took too much. That's pretty much the definition of an overdose.


I think the point that Sorkin was making was probably not about the semantics of the term overdose.

I'm confused how you both missed that.
 
2014-02-06 01:17:04 PM

Tigger: Dr Dreidel: nekom: Yep. Though I'd disagree with "no amount of heroin is good", it's an opiate and if it were administered by a doctor under proper circumstances for pain mitigation, it's no worse than morphine. Of course, it isn't ever, but it could be in theory.

Dilaudid. I've been told it's chemically identical to heroin (the injectable form of Dilaudid, anyway), only we know the purity and such, so we're more comfortable prescribing Dilaudid than saying "Go hang out at this intersection for an hour."

The only time I was given Dialudid I sat up in bed and said "I want to feel like this for the rest of my life"


Yes but did your next poop go well?

/any doctor who prescribes opiates without a stool softener should have to take opiates without a stool softener
 
2014-02-06 01:19:43 PM
Dr Dreidel:
Dilaudid. I've been told it's chemically identical to heroin (the injectable form of Dilaudid, anyway), only we know the purity and such, so we're more comfortable prescribing Dilaudid than saying "Go hang out at this intersection for an hour."

dilaudid is hydromorphone(a synthetic opioid). heroin is diacetylmorphine(a semi-synthetic opiate)

so no.
 
2014-02-06 01:19:45 PM

Tigger: Dr Dreidel: nekom: Yep. Though I'd disagree with "no amount of heroin is good", it's an opiate and if it were administered by a doctor under proper circumstances for pain mitigation, it's no worse than morphine. Of course, it isn't ever, but it could be in theory.

Dilaudid. I've been told it's chemically identical to heroin (the injectable form of Dilaudid, anyway), only we know the purity and such, so we're more comfortable prescribing Dilaudid than saying "Go hang out at this intersection for an hour."

The only time I was given Dialudid I sat up in bed and said "I want to feel like this for the rest of my life"


Your story has a hole in it...
 
2014-02-06 01:20:28 PM

Magorn: Rev.K: enry: I think he knows more about addiction than many others.

Which makes his point all the more stupid.

People can die of alcohol consumption. Either over a lifetime or period of years, or even in a single binge if they drink a colossal amount.

But there is an 'ok' amount of alcohol. You can drink a beer and not die.

And alcohol is a drug, just like heroin.

Which may be why he also said:
"Phil Hoffman and I had two things in common, We were both fathers of young children, and we were both recovering drug addicts. "He didn't die because he was partying too hard or because he was depressed - he died because he was an addict on a day of the week with a y in it."

 and he's right.  If you are a heroin addict and you do not receive help in time it WILL kill you because your system quickly builds up a tolerance to the drug and the amount you need to get you high rapidly approaches, and then inevitably exceeds the amount that stops your breathing.

Alcohol will also kill you and also builds up a tolerance, but it kills your more slowly, but much more irreversibly.  Most people will pass out before taking an LD of Alcohol (though VERY long term alcoholics can get up to .5 BAC or so -which would be fatal for a normal person- and still say conscious)  Instead alcohol wrecks your internal organs systemically and eventually your liver craps out.  But alcohol is not addictive for most people not carrying the addiction gene.  Heroin is addictive to nearly everyone.


That doesn't match my understanding of heroin addiction. Which is that OD is usually caused by an inconsistent potency of the drug.

My brother has been addicted to opiates for about 20 years. But they're scripts, so the does is consistent.
 
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