On Philip Seymour Hoffman, Addiction, And Wine

Philip Seymour Hoffman Died February 2, 2014Philip Seymour Hoffman died of an apparent drug overdose February 2, 2014. Well known for roles in Capote, for which he won multiple acting awards, Charlie Wilson’s War, Doubt, Moneyball, The Master, and The Ides of March, Philip Seymour Hoffman had the ability to make us suspend disbelief, becoming engrossed in the characters he portrayed, and the stories he told. Unfortunately, he was unable to beat his addiction to drugs, admitting to being in rehab at the age of 22 during a 2006 60-Minutes interview, and again battling the demons in 2013, and succumbing to them yesterday.

There are some, many perhaps, that will spend little to no time thinking about the actor’s passing. They will wonder aloud why should we focus and feel bad for him, when scores of people die each day, in a similar way, and go unsung and unnamed. I can’t disagree with them, as the loss of life is tragic regardless of it being an actor, or a homeless man with nothing to his name. However, as actors are in the public eye, they are often thought of as role models by many. We look to them for cues as to the things we want to buy, the places we want to visit, and the things we want to do. So, when one of them dies from drug overdose, it’s particularly unsettling to think of the indelible mark they’re leaving on the masses.

Philip Seymour Hoffman was an addict, and so am I

Addiction runs in my family. We have fought the battle with drugs and alcohol, food, spending, gaming, and more. We’re not much different from the man who died yesterday. Luckily, most of us recognized our addictive personalities, and have found ways to avoid that which tempts us so deeply. You would think that I would not write about wine, or become a sommelier, if I had an addictive personality. Fortunately for me, my addiction is in areas far away from drugs and alcohol, and in an area that I’m more able to manage than not.

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So, what does all of this talk about drugs, addiction and Philip Seymour Hoffman have to do with wine? It’s a reminder that we all need to exercise good judgement in life. Ensure that when you’re enjoying the wine recommendations from my site, you do so in a safe environment. Do your best to drink responsibly. Do your best to be a positive role model for the people around you.

Philip Seymour Hoffman leaves behind three children under the age of 11, and a partner of 15 years, Mimi O’Donnell. I only hope that this actor’s passing leaves behind a positive message for his children, and ours. A message that while you can achieve greatness, and be a master at your craft, you are still a delicate human, fallible, and in need of constant guidance. Never believe you’re above everyone, or anyone else. Admit your faults, work on diminishing them, and try your best to avoid the temptations that bring you down. Remember that none of those things need to be done alone. Your family, friends, and the community at large are there to help you. All you need to do is ask.