did not die from an overdose of heroin — he died from heroin.
We should stop implying that if he’d just taken the proper amount
then everything would have been fine. —Aaron Sorkin
Keith Humphreys dispels myths that overdose deaths are due to super pure or tainted heroin. It’s plain old heroin often combined with alcohol and/or prescription drugs.
Hoffman’s tragic overdose was absolutely the norm: He died from a combination of drugs, not from impure or unusually strong heroin. The benzodiazepines may have been particularly lethal in that they, like alcohol, seem able to lower acute tolerance for opioids, thereby turning a user’s standard dose into an “overdose”.