The deadly drug combination involves mixing heroin with cocaine or amphetamines. Hoffman was doing all three.
Benzodiazepine, also known by the street names Benzo or BZD, was also found in his system. The drug can be mildly hallucinatory and is usually used as a sleep aid.
The Academy Award winning actor was found dead Feb. 2 in the bathroom of his New York City Apartment with a syringe still sticking in his arm.
The medical examiner’s office has officially ruled the death accidental.
Speed balls were responsible for the death of actor John Belushi in 1982. The combination provides an extra kick because cocaine and amphetamines are stimulants while heroin is a depressant.
The stimulant kick can heighten the effects of heroin because it prevents a user from passing out.
But if used in the wrong amounts or wrong way, heroin overpowers your system and unconsciousness and death can quickly follow as in the 46-year-old actor’s case.
Evidence found at Hoffman’s apartment–more than 50 stamp bags of heroin–plus numerous cash withdrawals from his bank account suggested he may have been on a two or three week bender. Used syringes and empty bags were also found.
Juliana Luchkiw, 22, Max Rosenblum, 22, Robert Vineberg, 57, and Thomas Cushman, 48, were arrested in connection with Hoffman’s death. Police charge that Vineberg sold Hoffman the drugs that killed him.
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