I guess it's because I just don't understand. Why do people choose heroin when they know that it has the potential to kill you in an instant? Why take that chance? Once you are addicted, yes. I can wrap my head around the concept of not being in control. But what about the very first time you make the choice to ingest a substance that could kill you on the spot?
I know that that is the point for some people. If, for whatever reason, you are in such dire straits that you don't care if you live or die, then taking a chance on a drug that might obliterate your pain would make a lot of sense. But what about the people who have seemingly everything to live for?
What about someone like Hoffman? At the time of his death on Sunday he was, by all accounts, an addict, so that explains the now. But what about then? What about the first time he tried heroin all those years ago? What was happening in his life at that time? What had he experienced up to that point? Why was he willing to potentially sacrifice his life for a high?
Was it arrogance? Insatiable curiosity? A moment of intoxicated stupidity? Is it a genetic thing that makes some people believe that they are invincible? Or do they have an inherent need to seek out a high that will silence some inner demon?
Anyone who has ever seen Hoffman perform will know that he was put on this earth to be an actor. His talent was so huge, and his dedication to his craft so unwavering that it is hard to comprehend any point at which he would chance losing it all by succumbing to the lure of heroin.
And selfishly, ridiculously, hopelessly, I am angry that he did. And I'm angry that every other heroin addict out there chose it that first time, too. Because we are losing too many people ahead of their time. Too many bright lights are being extinguished before they have a chance to really shine. So much potential and love and hope and LIFE is being lost forever to a drug, and that is an absolute shame.
If only we could understand what makes people try heroin the first time, we might be able to avoid hearing the tragic stories of those who used it for the last time.