Once a member of the NBA champions team Los Angeles Lakers, Lamar Odom was on the brink of death in 2015 due to his tryst with drugs. Penning his ordeal for The Players’ Tribune, the NBA Sixth Man of the Year title holder of 2011 revealed how his addiction got so bad that he could not even see what was coming his way.
It was in October 2015 when the police found him unconscious in front of a brothel in Las Vegas as an aftermath of the romp and wild night out. The doctors revealed that he went into a coma due to a cocktail of dangerous drugs, including herbal Viagra. To his utter surprise, it was his estranged wife – reality show star Khloe Kardashian – who nursed him in the hospital in the ensuing months. They had lived in separation for over a year by then owing to his philandering and drug abusing behavior.
Life mired in addiction
During his playing days, Odom represented the Los Angeles Lakers, who went on to win NBA championships in 2009 and 2010. However, his life took a nasty turn as he continued to flirt with addictive substances. He began to lose everything he had earned or treasured in his life – his NBA career, his marriage to Khloe Kardashian, and most importantly the huge reputation he had earned after years of hard work.
The NBA veteran was left to deal with public ignominy as he used cocaine heavily – almost every day during those days. “At that point in my life, I was doing coke every day. Pretty much every second of free time that I had, I was doing coke. I couldn’t control it,” he wrote in the article.
The last straw
Lying jaded in the hospital bed, Odom started introspecting. His life played out in front of his eyes, making him realize his folly. He had understood that it was all because of doing drugs and leading a promiscuous life, cheating on his wife and kids which caused him so much pain. “When I was in that hospital bed, I kept asking myself that question. And I kept thinking about all the people in my life who aren’t here anymore. Mostly, I thought about my mother. My dad wasn’t really around when I was a kid. He had his own problems with addiction. But my mother was my best friend in the world. She was just so caring,” he wrote.
One after the other he chronicled his life, spilling the beans on some of the unknown aspects of his life – an addiction that almost took his life, the circumstances that led up to the addiction and how he eventually began taking his strides towards a sober life. Odom is a sober man now. He entered rehab, struggled with withdrawals and earned his sobriety with grit and determination. His is a tale of encouragement for millions of people who adore him, and are grappling with addiction problems in life. He has shown that sobriety is not far-fetched if one has decided to relinquish drugs and go sober.
Although addiction is a scourge and has the potential to wreck human lives, it is not the cul-de-sac for those dependent on any substance. With timely medical intervention, one can overcome any addiction and lead a sober life.
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