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When is a tragedy not a tragedy?

This past week revered actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman died, as the result of an overdose of heroin. Many have called this event a tragedy, while nothing could be further from the truth. A tragedy, by definition is something that is unavoidable. For example a plane crash is a tragedy. When someone elects to subject themselves to a drug that has a history of taking the lives of users. 

Every day an average of 9000 people die due to an overdose of heroin. I think the thing that bothers me is that the media is shocked, that the addict has died all the while hiding the fact that they have been abusing the drug for years. How many celebrities have been addicted, to or died due to heroin? This isn’t a new fad, which is so sad.

Back to my statement about tragedy, a tragedy is something that is unexpected. A car crash, a plane crash, a person being diagnosed with cancer. That is tragedy. A person that dies due to an overdose basically has to make an appointment. He or she has to do so with forethought. The world has lost so much talent due to heroin, Lately Cory Monteith, but in the past there was John Belushi, Chris Farley, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and Sid Vicious, just to name a few. The sad part is they get to “enjoy” the media frenzy after their death. Sad as it may be, what about the rest of the people that die from heroin overdose that aren’t famous. 

Those who are arrested for possession, or distribution, there is no punishment that would prevent them from continuing to deal this death. These celebrities, instead of crying crocodile tears at the death of their friend, why aren’t they in Washington, demanding stricter laws. Military operations to remove the poppy fields from other countries? 

The only true tragedy of what happened this week as in in the past, the world will be deprived of lives that were taken to soon, not only those of the performers that have been lost, but as well as the everyday people. Parents that won’t get to see their children or grandchildren. How many will never know what their lives could have been? That would truly be the tragedy.

How many people have to die before there is a culture change?  


My only hope is that Mr. Hoffman’s untimely death will cause his celebrity friends to take up this cause and put these death dealers out of business. 

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