NEW YORK – Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died from a combination of heroin, cocaine and other drugs, the New York City medical examiner ruled Friday, a toxic mix that addiction specialists say is not uncommon in the tens of thousands of overdose deaths in the U.S. each year.
Hoffman, 46, who was found Feb. 2 with a needle in his arm on the floor of his Manhattan apartment, also had taken amphetamines and benzodiazepines, which are drugs such as Xanax and Valium that are widely prescribed for anxiety, sleeping troubles and other problems, said a spokeswoman for the medical examiner. The death was ruled accidental.
The medical examiner didn’t provide the names of the drugs or the amounts found in Hoffman’s system, making it impossible to determine which drug was the major factor, said Dr. Charles McKay, a medical toxicologist for Hartford Hospital in Connecticut and a spokesman for the American College of Medical Toxicology. Police found heroin in samples from at least 50 packets in his Manhattan apartment, and various prescription medications.