Overdoses Become Advertisements

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Legal Stuff - This is an advertisement for Service Industries, Inc., part of a network of commonly owned substance abuse treatment service providers. The phone number and email provided in the advertisement will connect you to one of Service Industries, Inc.’s representatives to discuss your insurance benefits and options for obtaining treatment at one of its affiliated facilities only. Service Industries, Inc. is unable to discuss the insurance benefits or options that may be available at any unaffiliated treatment center or business. If this advertisement appears on the same web page as a review of any particular treatment center or business, the contact information (including phone number) for that particular treatment center or business may be found at the bottom of the review.

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Overdoses Become Advertisements

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Overdoses Become AdvertisementsThis post was originally published on February 4, 2014.

Out of the millions of words thus far that have been used to discuss and dissect the tragedy of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s overdose, perhaps the best I’ve seen are those from Jeff Deeney, a sober social worker and writer who wrote a piece for The Atlantic about Hoffman and the recent rise in heroin deaths. The part that really struck me is when he said that “overdoses become advertisements for strong product.” It’s the same thing Cliffside Malibu founder Richard Taite wrote about in his blog—that the heroin addict “tries to get as close to death as humanly possible without actually dying because that’s what feels the best, that’s where the euphoria lies right there at that edge.” A cynic could say that the desire to be as close to death while still being alive is perhaps the last thrill for a person who seemingly has everything. But addiction is more complicated than that.

When you’re doing drugs, getting close to death doesn’t actually seem like that big a deal. You simply can’t do hard drugs and think that dying or nearly dying is a big deal because if you’re going to be that sane, how then can you justify using hard drugs?

A Tragic Lesson in Relapse

It can be easy to forget, when many sober addicts seem to thrive, that many of us are as crazy as we were before; we just sometimes have years between today and the last time we had a compulsion to do something that mimicked or risked death. Hoffman’s death is horrible—because of his talent, because he had been sober over two decades before, because he had small children…take your pick. But maybe it doesn’t have to be solely tragic. Maybe it’s a loud enough message that it can become an advertisement, too—for the fact that no one is immune from falling back into forgetting.

Photo Courtesy of Georges Biard [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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About Author

Anna David

Anna David is the CEO and Editor-in-Chief of AfterPartyMagazine/RehabReviews.com and hosts the AfterPartyPod podcast. She's also the New York Times-bestselling author of the novels Party Girl and Bought and the non-fiction books Reality MattersFalling For MeBy Some Miracle I Made It Out of There and True Tales of Lust and Love. She's written for numerous magazines, including Playboy, Cosmo and Details, and appeared repeatedly on the TV shows Attack of the Show, The Today Show and The Talk, among many others.

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Legal Stuff - This free insurance benefits check is a service performed by advertising sponsor Service Industries, Inc., part of a network of commonly owned rehabilitation service providers. By inputting your information, you consent to your information being transmitted to Service Industries, Inc., so that one of its representatives may contact you to discuss your insurance benefits and options for obtaining treatment at one of its affiliated facilities only. Service Industries, Inc. is unable to discuss the insurance benefits or options that may be available at any unaffiliated treatment center or business. If this advertisement appears on the same web page as a review of any particular treatment center or business, the contact information (including phone number) for that particular treatment center or business may be found at the bottom of the review.