But as we tune in to watch some of our famous athletes do their thing, let’s not neglect the many pressures and problems these players are facing off the field. Our alcohol and drug rehab center in Philadelphia knows substance abuse has affected many well-known athletes in sports like baseball, basketball, hockey, football, and more. You’ve probably even heard some of these stories. A rookie is thrown into the spotlight, a talented pro cracks under pressure, a sober player relapses. So often we hear about these well-known athletes struggling with addiction that we forget their human beings with real problems. We also forget that these players have more responsibilities and talents outside of sports. We’re sharing a list of six athletes who had addictions and how they affected their lives.
In his 17-year long career playing for teams like the Mets, Dodgers, Giants, and Yankees, Darryl Strawberry was suspended three times for substance abuse. Like many other athletes who had drug addictions, Strawberry’s substance abuse was a response to the pressure he felt when it came to playing in the MLB and dealing with commentary from fans. Fans of rivalry teams were ruthless, which he found difficult to deal with. Eventually, he began a new battle against colon cancer, for which he underwent several surgeries. He struggled with cocaine and alcohol abuse and repeatedly attempted addiction treatment. Eventually, Strawberry quit baseball altogether to devote his time to Without Walls International Church.
Hockey player Derek Boogard was one of the many famous young athletes who were addicted to drugs. Like many athletes, Boogard began taking prescription painkillers for his injuries. Considering the aggressive and competitive nature of the sport, it’s not uncommon for hockey players to suffer from various injuries. The sport is well-known for the fights between players. While fans were excited to have such a tough guy on their team (6’7'” and 265 pounds), many didn’t know the battle he faced off the ice. Boogard’s addiction to painkillers was kept under wraps until his death on May 13th, 2011.
At Banyan Philadelphia, we know that many athletes struggle with opioid abuse. Addiction in athletes often stems from treating injuries and can quickly get out of hand. At our drug rehab center, we offer a prescription drug addiction treatment that addresses this type of substance abuse disorder and helps patients regain their sobriety.
Famous tennis player Andre Agassi left tennis when he admitted his addiction to crystal meth. In his autobiography “Open”, Agassi admits to being introduced to the drug in 1997 and describes the decline of his career as his addiction worsened. He retired in 2006 and has a wife and two children.
MLB star Josh Hamilton’s career took flight in 1999 when he was chosen as the number one overall draft pick by the then-Devil Rays. Between 2003 and 2005, Hamilton was banned from the MLB after developing an addiction to alcohol and cocaine. After several stints in rehab and battling alcoholism and cocaine dependence, he emerged as a player for the Rangers.
Tennis champion Jennifer Capriati is our first woman among our famous athletes who had drug addictions. Capriati checked into drug rehab in 1994 at the age of 18. At the time, she was using heroin, crack cocaine, alcohol, and prescription drugs. As a young athlete who began her career at the mere age of 13, Capriati was under loads of pressure from fans, coaches, and sports administrations. She’s one of the many athletes who struggled with addiction and their mental health. She went back to rehab after struggling with an accidental prescription drug overdose in 2010. Since then she’s maintained a low profile.
Former Dallas Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin began playing for Dallas in 1988. In his 12 year career with the team, he won three Super Bowls and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007. However, despite his successes, Irvin had his struggles off the field. In 1996, he was found with 10 grams of cocaine and an ounce of marijuana in a hotel room, after which he was charged with cocaine possession and misdemeanor marijuana charges. Since then, Irvin has starred in a few minor acting roles and is still loved by many fans to this day.
Many athletes had substance use disorders that have managed to turn their lives around for the better after struggling with the physical, emotional, and financial effects of drug abuse. If you’re battling addiction, you can too. Call Banyan Treatment Centers Philadelphia now at 888-280-4763 to speak to one of our team members about our levels of care.