Philip Seymour Hoffman's Death Ruled 'Accidental', Lethal Mix of Drugs Blamed
New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has made it official the cause of death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. The 46-year-old died of "accidental acute mixed drug intoxication, including heroin, cocaine, benzodiazepines, and amphetamine," a spokeswoman for the office said.
The report, which was released on Friday, February 28, also ruled that Hoffman's death was accidental. The "Capote" star was found on the bathroom floor of his Manhattan apartment on February 2 with a needle in his left arm. He had been fighting drug addictions and had sought treatment last year after 23 years of sobriety.
With amphetamines and benzodiazepines in his system, Hoffman is presumed taking drugs such as Xanax and Valium that are prescribed for anxiety, trouble sleeping and other problems. However, the medical examiner did not provide the names or amounts of drugs that Hoffman took.
Specialists said it's not uncommon in the tens of thousands of overdose deaths in the U.S. each year. "The drug of that combination that is most associated with overdose death is heroin," Cindy Kuhn, a pharmacology professor at Duke University, told The AP. "People just stop breathing. It's especially dangerous in combination with other sedatives like the benzodiazepines."
Police has been investigating Hoffman's death as drug overdose. Initial autopsy, performed just days after his death, produced inconclusive results, prompting further toxicology tests.
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