Philip Seymour Hoffman recently in rehab

Philip Seymour Hoffman recently checked into rehab after he began snorting heroin.

The 45-year-old actor has received professional help for drug and alcohol addiction in the past but had been sober for 23 years before he began dabbling again 12 months ago.

In an exclusive interview with TMZ, the Oscar-winner explained he started taking prescription medication at first. His issue quickly spiralled out of control and he began ingesting lethal illegal substance heroin.

"Hoffman... tells us the heroin use only lasted a week or so and he quickly realised he needed help, so he checked himself into a detox facility on the East Coast," the website reports.

The star spent ten days at the treatment centre, although he hasn't given its name. He left the facility on Friday last week and is now clean and working on a film in Europe.

Phillip paid tribute to "a great group of friends and family" who encouraged him to get help when he realised his problem had resurfaced.

The actor's initial drug and alcohol battle began when he left drama school in New York City in the '90s.

"It was all that [drugs and alcohol], yeah, it was," he explained in 2006. "Anything I could get my hands on...I liked it all. I went [to rehab], I got sober when I was 22 years old. You get panicked... and I got panicked for my life. It really was just that."

In the same interview he credited getting clean with helping him launch his career. The actor received the best actor Oscar in 2006 for his role in Capote and believes things would have been entirely different had he not addressed his issues.

"I think back at that time, if I had the money, that kind of money and stuff, I would have died," he said.

In 2011, the actor gave another interview in which he hinted his problems have been a constant battle.

"It was pretty bad, you know what I mean. And I know, deep down, I still look at the idea of drinking with the same ferocity that I did back then. It's still pretty tangible," he said.

"I had no interest in drinking in moderation. And I still don't. Just because all that time's passed doesn't mean maybe it was just a phase. That's you know, that's who I am."

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