Lamar Odom faces the demons of addiction
By Emmanuel Bates
Former NBA sixth man of the year and “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” star, 35-year-old Lamar Odom was hospitalized after being found unconscious at the Love Ranch brothel in Crystal, Nev. on Oct. 13.
Overdose at a Nevada brothel
The media has been in a frenzy over the frightening situation of Odom when a drug overdose caused an ischemic stroke, which is a blood clot preventing blood flow to the brain. The woman that discovered Odom stated that she had seen a “mucus-type liquid coming from his nose and mouth” and proceeded to call for help.
On Oct. 20, Odom was reported to be in stable condition and transported from “Sunrise Hospital” in Las Vegas back to Los Angeles via helicopter. Odom tested positive for numerous drugs, including cocaine while being evaluated. He was also witnessed purchasing herbal Viagra called “Reload” from the Nev. brothel.
“It’s an herbal supplement that gives you energy,” brothel owner Dennis Hof told The Post. “They say it’s for erectile dysfunction. Basically, it gives you more energy. It’s an over-the-counter speedy kind of product … the pill form of an energy drink,” he added.
This isn’t Odom’s first drug encounter, however. In 2013, Odom was arrested for a DUI, but a week prior to the arrest, rumors swirled around about the former NBA star’s drug abuse and alleged attendance at a rehab facility.
Sadly, this is not the first time that drugs or alcohol almost claimed the life and career of a great athlete. Former NFL linebacker Lawrence Taylor once said, “Cocaine was the only bright spot in my future.” Also, former NFL running back Ricky Williams was banned from the NFL for testing positive for Marijuana four times, and former two time NBA all-star and Detroit Piston Bad Boy and Chicago Bulls great Dennis Rodman is notorious for his alcohol abuse and outlandish antics as well.
However, there are plenty of bright spots with athletes who decided to clean up their act and put their career over their addictions and inner demons. Current Arizona Cardinal cornerback Tyrann Mathieu reportedly failed over ten drug tests before he received the boot from Louisiana State University’s football team during the 2012 season. Upon multiple rehabilitation treatments and workouts, he decided to pursue his NFL dream; he was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round in 2013.
Mathieu is not the only player to make a turnaround. Five time American League All-Star and the Texas Ranger’s outfielder Josh Hamilton’s drug and alcohol issues are well documented. Many years of drug and alcohol abuse date back to the early 2000’s. In 2008, Hamilton’s grandmother Mary Holt convinced him to not squander his gift and to put his passion for baseball over the feeling of drugs and alcohol.
Although Hamilton relapsed in 2009, 2012 and earlier this year in Feb., Hamilton seemed like a lost cause until he surprised the world by making an epic return to the MLB in May.
Path to recovery
Odom is currently out of the intensive care unit, and it has been reported he may fully recover. An insider at the hospital said, “After therapy, he is able to take a few steps with help. He is doing very well and continues to be a fighter. He hasn’t given up once, and this will really help him in the future.” There is nothing but optimism as we look forward into Odom’s health; we all make poor decisions once in a while some that may bring severe consequence, however, this is a learning experience Odom and many others can learn from.