The death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman last Sunday has triggered a flood of emotional responses both from fans and professionals who are part of the Hollywood community. Hoffman inspired a generation of younger actors to hone their craft and make challenging decisions when it came to their choices of roles. Hoffman’s tragic death has also been a sort of wake up call for those who abuse drugs and for people to change their attitudes towards drug abusers. Actor Shawn Pyfrom
One such actor who has been affected by Hoffman’s death and has spoken out about addiction is 27 year old Shawn Pyfrom. The Desperate Housewives star has played Marcia Cross’ son Andrew Van de Kamp on the show for the past eight years. Pyfrom has opened up about his addiction, saying that while it may have helped his acting when it came to playing the Van de Kamp character, he can also no longer continue to abuse drugs. Pyfrom is concerned about all the talented actors and musicians that drugs have taken the lives of. While it may seem that drug use enhances creativity, the truth is that it really destroys lives.
Pyfrom Is Grateful
Pyfrom is grateful for the success he has had, but also admits that his drug use put a lot of strain on his relationships and may have cost him to miss out on some big opportunities with his career. Since coming out publicly about his struggle, Pyfrom has received support from fans and fellow actors for his candid words. Pyfrom came out about his addiction and newfound sobriety as a way to show support for others who are struggling, rather than to appear superior or judgemental.
Since Desperate Housewives stopped airing in 2012, Pyfrom has continued to act on television series’ and tv movies. He believes his addiction had a part in limiting his professional opportunities. Now five months sober, Pyfrom looks forward to continuing to maintain his sobriety and open new doors in both his personal and professional life.
Is Drug Addiction A Disease Or A Choice?
The death of Hoffman has once again opened up the debate about whether or not an individual has control over becoming an addict. The prevailing attitude toward addicts in this country is a more unsympathetic one. Many view the choice to use drugs as a selfish one and show little to no sympathy to those who die from an overdose. Medical experts on the other hand, view addiction as a disease that deserves specialized treatment. Addicts can recover and deserve the treatment that can help them do that.
Proponents of this view argue that until attitudes toward drug addiction change in this country, the number of addicts and death by overdose will continue to rise. While the loss of a talented actor like Hoffman is truly heartbreaking, there are thousands of other Americans out there struggling with addiction who also don’t make it and perhaps could have conquered their addictions if things were different.