Russell Brand Writes About the Addiction and Death of Philip Seymour Hoffman
Writing to The Guardian, the comedian begins, "Philip Seymour Hoffman's death is a reminder, though, that addiction is indiscriminate. That it is sad, irrational and hard to understand."
Pointing fingers, he continued, "What it also clearly demonstrates is that we are a culture that does not know how to treat its addicts. 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? Would he have OD'd if drugs were regulated, controlled and professionally administered?"
Finding parallels with his own experience, Brand understands Hoffman's struggles, explaining, "In spite of his life seeming superficially great, in spite of all the praise and accolades, in spite of all the loving friends and family, there is a predominant voice in the mind of an addict that supersedes all reason and that voice wants you dead. This voice is the unrelenting echo of an unfulfillable void."
With his own dealings with heroin, the 38-year-old Brit goes on to praise "progressive and tolerant drug laws" in other countries and notes the socioeconomic conditions that lead the poor to "pay the biggest price."
Calling for action, Russell concludes, "The troubling message behind Philip Seymour Hoffman's death, which we all feel without articulating, is that it was unnecessary and we know that something could be done. We also know what that something is and yet, for some traditional, prejudicial, stupid reason we don't do it."