Famous Athletes Who Have Used Drugs

Because addiction is so isolating, many active addicts and alcoholics feel as if they are all alone in their struggles. They feel as if no one understands what they’re going through – that no one can relate.

The truth is, however, that addiction is an extremely widespread and non-discriminatory disease. Addiction affects millions of Americans annually – men and women of all ethnicities, social backgrounds, and professions.

famous athletes who have used drugs

Athletes and Marijuana

One of the most famous cases of an athlete who dabbled in drug use is Michael Phelps, eight-time Olympic gold medalist. In 2009, Phelps lost a major endorsement with Kelloggs after he was photographed smoking marijuana. Phelps has since redeemed himself, and is a well-loved and greatly, international admired swimmer.

Another athlete that got into trouble for marijuana possession is Thurman Thomas, a well-known football player who played with The Buffalo Bills. In 2004, Thurman was arrested in a hotel room after guests smelled marijuana coming from his room. Jennifer Capriati, who made a name for herself as a tennis prodigy when she was still very young, was arrested for marijuana possession (and shoplifting) in her teenage years. Since her arrest, she has made a major comeback.

Nowadays, marijuana is widely legalized, and many of the famous athletes that were caught smoking have redeemed themselves. It is important to remember, however, that marijuana addiction can be a serious problem for some. If you are unable to stop smoking despite negative consequences, you may be dealing with dependency. If that’s the case, we at Garden State Treatment Center are available to help – we handle addictive disorders of all kinds.

Famous Athletes and Drug Addiction

While some famous athletes were able to successfully recover and lead lives of sobriety after their run-ins with the law, others were not so lucky. Tyler Skaggs, a pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels, died of an overdose in his hotel room in July. It was later discovered that he had battled a serious addiction to oxycodone, a potent opioid painkiller, for several years.

Lamar Odom, a basketball player, also experienced a serious overdose – this one related to his cocaine addiction. However, he did not die in the brothel where the overdose occurred. Leonard Bias, a basketball player with the Boston Celtics, died of an overdose at just 22-years-old. Initially, it was believed that Bias overdosed and died during his first time using cocaine. Later, it was discovered that he had used the drug before, and likely struggled with long-term addiction.

Some famous athletes who have struggled with serious addictive disorders have survived to tell their stories, and continue to inspire others on their journeys of recovery. Josh Hamilton, a baseball player with the Texas Rangers, openly struggled with drug addiction and several public relapses.

In 2007, Hamilton’s “comeback” inspired many, and it looked like he was on the road to recovery for the long-haul. Previously, from 2003-2005, he had been banned from playing entirely for a severe problem with crack-cocaine. Unfortunately, he relapsed once again, admitting to a cocaine binge. Since recovering, he has inspired many others by speaking out on the realities of addiction – and how the disease can affect anyone – rich, poor, famous or not.

Help is Available For Us All

If you struggle with drug addiction or alcoholism, you must recognize and remember that you are not alone. There are people – many people – who have been through the same things you have, and who have successfully come out the other side.

We at Garden State Treatment Center specialize in alcoholism and drug addiction and understand how hopeless those amid the action of addiction might feel. We believe that recovery is always possible, regardless of who you are or what you’ve been through. For more information, please feel free to contact us today.