Sunday 20 April 2014

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

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

‘‘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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