Friday 19 December 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman was victim of stupid drugs law, says Russell Brand

By Aishling Phelan

Published 08/02/2014 | 13:49

Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Seymour Hoffman

Comedian Russell Brand has blamed drug laws for the death of Hollywood actor Philip Seymour Hoffman.

The controversial star believes laws are turning addicts into criminals by forcing them to interact with drug dealers.

 

In an article in The Guardian entitled ‘‘Philip Seymour Hoffman is another victim of extremely stupid drug laws,’’ he said the actor’s death was inevitable because of drug laws.

 

‘‘I can assure you that there is no as yet undiscovered riddle in his domestic life or sex life, the man was a drug addict and his death inevitable.

Mimi O'Donnell, former partner of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman, holds their daughter Willa as the casket arrives for the funeral of actor Hoffman in the Manhattan borough of New York, February 7, 2014. Hoffman was found in his Greenwich Village apartment on Sunday with a syringe in his arm and plastic bags containing a substance believed to be heroin. The exact cause of death is still unknown, pending further studies, according to a spokeswoman for New York City's Chief Medical Examiner. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT OBITUARY)
Mimi O'Donnell, former partner of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman, holds their daughter Willa as the casket arrives for the funeral of actor
Mimi O'Donnell, former partner of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman, holds her daughter Willa as she touches the head of their son Cooper as the casket arrives for the funeral
Actress Cate Blanchett (R) and her husband Andrew Upton arrive for the funeral of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman at St. Ignatius chuch in the Manhattan borough of New York
Actress Maria Tomei arrives for the funeral of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola
Ethan Hawke arrives for the funeral of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola
Director Mike Nichols, left, and Diane Sawyer arrive for the funeral of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola
Actress Amy Adams and her fiance Darren Le Gallo arrive at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola for the private funeral of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman
Actor Joaquin Phoenix arrives at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola for the private funeral of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman
Actress Michelle Williams, right, arrives at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola for the private funeral of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman
Actress Meryl Streep arrives at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola for the private funeral of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman
The casket carrying actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died of an alleged drug overdose on February 1, 2014, arrives at St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Church
Mary-Louise Parker attends the funeral service for actor Philip Seymour Hoffman at St. Ignatius Of Loyola
Ashley Olsen attends the funeral service for actor Philip Seymour Hoffman at St. Ignatius Of Loyola
Spike Lee attends the funeral service for actor Philip Seymour Hoffman at St. Ignatius Of Loyola
Mary-Louise Parker attends the funeral service for actor Philip Seymour Hoffman at St. Ignatius Of Loyola
Brian Dennehy attends the funeral service for actor Philip Seymour Hoffman at St. Ignatius Of Loyola in New York City
Writer David Bar Katz is embraced as he arrives at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola for the private funeral of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman
Actors Ellen Burston and Louis CK arrives for the funeral for actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman in the Manhattan borough of New York
Barricades are placed outside of the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola before the funeral of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman
Mimi O'Donnell, estranged partner of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, comforts two of their children, daughter Willa, and son Cooper as his casket arrives at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in New York

 

‘‘Addiction is a mental illness around which there is a great deal of confusion, which is hugely exacerbated by the laws that criminalise drug addicts,’’ he said.

 

Oscar-winner Hoffman died from an overdose and police found 70 bags of heroin in the property his body was found in.

 

He believes criminalising drug use only creates an unregulated system, leaving users open to the criminal underworld operating it.

 

‘‘If drugs are illegal people who use drugs are criminals.

 

‘‘We have set our moral compass on this erroneous premise, and we have strayed so far off course that the landscape we now inhabit provides us with no solutions and greatly increases the problem,’’ he said.

 

Brand questioned whether the actor would have died if it were not for the stigma attached to taking illegal substances.

 

‘‘Would Hoffman have died if this disease were not so enmeshed in stigma? If we weren't invited to believe that people who suffer from addiction deserve to suffer?’’

 

Brand, a recovering heroin and alcohol addict, said he could relate to the actor’s tragic circumstances.

 

‘‘The reason I am so non-judgmental of Hoffman or Bieber and so condemnatory of the pop cultural tinsel that adorns the reporting around them is that I am a drug addict in recovery, so like any drug addict I know exactly how Hoffman felt when he "went back out".’’

 

He said love and support from family and friends cannot help a person spiralling into drug addiction.

 

‘‘There is a predominant voice in the mind of an addict that supersedes all reason and that voice wants you dead,’’ he explained.

 

‘‘Like a lot of drug addicts, probably most, who "go over", Hoffman was alone when he died. 

 

‘‘This is an inescapably bleak circumstance,’’ he added.

 

Fans were shocked when the A-list actor, who starred in more than 50 movies, was found dead of an apparent heroin overdose at his home.

 

 

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