Philip Seymour Hoffman died of "acute mixed drug intoxication"

The New York medical examiner reported the death accidental

Prachi Gupta
March 1, 2014 2:30AM (UTC)

Three weeks after the death of Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, the New York medical examiner reports that the beloved actor died of "acute mixed drug intoxication" including heroin, cocaine, benzodiazepines and amphetamine. His death was deemed an accident.

According to CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta, drug mixtures like the ones taken by Hoffman can suppress the respiratory system after chronic use. "They're not feeling it, but it's still having an impact on their ability to breathe, and that's the real problem," said Gupta. "It's called stacking. You can stack the same drug too close together, or you can start to stack other drugs, one on top of the other. That's how people get into trouble. They do call it accidental death as well."


The 46-year-old actor had stayed sober for 23 years, but had relapsed in 2013. According to police reports, Hoffman was found dead in his Manhattan apartment with a syringe in his arm and drug paraphernalia in his apartment.

He was found dead by his friend, playwright David Bar Katz, after Hoffman's parter, Mimi O'Donnell, alerted Katz that Hoffman had not shown up to pick up their children. His funeral was held 5 days after his death, on Feb. 7.

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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Autopsy Death Drugs Heroin New York Medical Examiner Overdose Philip Seymour Hoffman

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