Some athletes are able to move away from drug use and get their lives back on track. MLB All-Star Darryl Strawberry has come forward with his story of addiction, and before his death in 2008, Dock Ellis was actually hired by the Yankees to counsel their minor leaguers about the dangers of drug use. Sadly, other athletes do not share similar stories of recovery. Canadian hockey player Derek Boogaard, who died of an overdose, was able to get multiple doctors to write him prescriptions for drugs including hydrocodone, oxycodone, and Ambien before he passed away.
Drug addiction can be a terrifying and heart-breaking story, and one that happens far too often in the world of sports.
After being photographed smoking marijuana just months after his record-breaking Olympic performance, Michael Phelps announced over Twitter that he would be entering rehab. According to Brookhaven Hospital, the swimmer entered a six-week program with the hope of getting help.
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According to Radar Online, Lamar Odom "smoked more than $50,000 worth of cocaine" in a period of three years. He later overdosed at a Nevada brothel and nearly died.
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As four-time World Series champion and eight-time MLB All-Star Darryl Strawberry told AL.com, "Drug addiction is very powerful. Drugs have been around sports forever and players have done them forever. I wasn't the first one... there were a lot of other players who did them too. We were high-profile and there was more recognition on us because of the fall of who we were — such great talents at such a young age.”
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American tennis legend Andre Agassi confessed in his autobiography to using crystal meth a year before he won the French Open in 1998. As CNN explained, “he took the highly addictive narcotic in 1997 while suffering poor form and to quell worries about his upcoming marriage to actress Brooke Shields.”
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