Toxic mix of drugs killed Philip Seymour Hoffman: ruling

Death of 46-year old Oscar-winning actor ruled an accident

A toxic mix of heroin and other drugs killed Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, New York City officials said Friday.

Hoffman died from a mix of heroin, cocaine, amphetamines and benzodiazepines, which are psychoactive drugs, said a spokeswoman for the New York City medical examiner.

The death was ruled an accident.

Law enforcement officials have said Hoffman was found Feb. 2 with a needle in his arm, and tests found heroin in samples from at least 50 packets in his Manhattan apartment.

Authorities also found unused syringes, a charred spoon and various prescription medications, including a drug used to treat heroin addiction, a blood-pressure medication and a muscle relaxant.

Police had been investigating his death as a suspected drug overdose.

Hoffman, 46, who won an Oscar for ``Capote'' and starred in numerous other movies as well as New York stage productions, had been frank about struggling with substance abuse.

He told CBS' ``60 Minutes'' in 2006 that had he used ``anything I could get my hands on'' before getting clean at age 22.

But in interviews last year, he said he'd relapsed, had developed a heroin problem and had gone to rehab for a time.

Investigators have been probing how Hoffman may have obtained the heroin.

Tests of the heroin in his apartment have found that it was not cut with a dangerous additive such as fentanyl, a synthetic form of morphine used to intensify the high that has been linked to deaths in other states.

A musician, veteran jazz player Robert Vineberg, has been charged with keeping a heroin stash in a lower Manhattan apartment amid the investigation into Hoffman's death.

Vineberg, who has said he was a friend of the Tony Award-nominated Hoffman, hasn't been charged in Hoffman's death and has said he didn't sell him the heroin found in his apartment.

As police followed a tip after Hoffman's death, they said they found about 300 small bags of heroin, worth about $10 apiece on the street, and $1,300 in cash in Vineberg's apartment and music studio.

 

Photo credit: businessinsider.com

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