The death of acclaimed actor Philip Seymour Hoffman shocked everyone, not only in the world at large, but also in the substance abuse recovery community. Hoffman had, before his death in early 2014, had been sober for 23 years, during which time he had openly discussed his addictions and then-past struggles with substance abuse. His recent fatal overdose has become a symbol of how easy it is for anyone in recovery to relapse on addictive and potentially lethal substances like heroin and other powerful opiates.
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The New York Times reported that on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, a new development emerged in the fallout following Philip Seymour Hoffman’s overdose death. The Manhattan District Attorney’s office in New York City dropped all charges implicating Robert Aaron, a friend of the actor’s, in the sale of the heroin that caused his passing. Aaron, 58, had been arrested in possession of 296 packets of heroin, totaling a street value of more than $3,000, shortly after the death of Hoffman, based on a tip to police that he had sold drugs to Hoffman in the past.
Since his arrest for possible involvement in Hoffman’s death, court papers had been released stating that Aaron had been an on-and-off-again heroin user himself for over 30 years, selling the drug in part to feed his own addiction. Because of his association with the famed actor, some in the media immediately labeled Aaron as the man responsible for Hoffman’s death, though he categorically denied that he sold heroin to the movie star, explaining that Hoffman did not like the quality of the heroin he had been selling.
Others have suggested that Aaron was a scapegoat used by some to help explain a senseless tragedy. The defendant himself echoed that same line of thinking, saying in an interview, “At some level, it’s like the Salem itch trials… you can’t have a witch hunt without a witch. I’m just unlucky enough to be the guy.”
Aaron had, before the charges for the sale of narcotics were dropped, and he agreed to probation for the possession charges, applied to be remanded to drug treatment under a provision that allows addicts who have been found to have committed a crime due to their addiction to avoid prosecution.
The Catch-22 of Many People in Active Addiction
Many who have recovered from drug addiction themselves can emphasize with the plight of Aaron, selling an illegal substance that can potentially kill their customers in order to feed their own addiction to a substance like heroin, that may one day kill them as well. In states like New York that allows for provisional placement in the drug or alcohol rehab center instead of jail time, there are options available for the addict that is facing criminal charges due to the disease of addiction. Drug Treatment Center Finder has facilities within its network that will work with you to help you find the proper treatment center or rehab in spite of any legal issues you might be facing. If your addiction has caused you any legal troubles, call 877-968-6682 today and speak with someone knowledgeable in the field of addiction.