Famous Athletes Who Suffer From Addictions

There are many, many people who suffer from addiction issues who happen to be famous.


These show up online as "Surprise!" lists, like "10 People Who Were Addicts, But You Probably Didn't Know It." The lists go on to name famed intellectual William F. Buckley Jr., Oprah Winfrey, and Ben Franklin, who was addicted to laudanum, which combines alcohol and opium and was a commonly used painkiller back in the day.

Just to show that addictions have no stereotype, you could write a list of 10 billionaires with addictions or 10 famous politicians or 10 famous actors. None of these lists would be difficult to produce.

Here's a list of famous athletes who suffered from addictions and some of their personal stories to go along with them.

New York Met Outfielder Darryl Strawberry

Strawberry famously suffered from cocaine addiction while he was a start New York athlete, playing first with the New York Mets and eventually playing with the New York Yankees after short stints on other teams and a demotion to minor league ball while he was in recovery.

Strawberry hit three home runs in three different major league games, including an American League Championship Series in a game when he was a Yankee playing against the Baltimore Orioles. He was a powerful hitter, but he was also a fan favorite in part because his smile was beaming when he was on top of things and his depression was palatable when things were falling apart. His rocky career ended with an early diagnosis with colon cancer in 1998, while he was on comeback year. However, he survived the cancer and is now a minister of the Christian faith.

New York Met Pitcher Dwight Gooden

Like teammate Strawberry, pitcher Dwight Gooden also had problems with cocaine addiction. He tested positive for cocaine while he was a player and entered rehabilitation in 1987. He then relapsed and was suspended from finishing out the 1995 season.

Gooden was a powerful thrower, nicknamed Dr. K, who was the National League Rookie of the Year in 1984. He also went on to become a New York Yankee, where he threw a no-hitter in 1996, a feat that has only been accomplished 287 times in the history of major league baseball.

Gooden pitched in the majors from 1984 until 2000, but his career was marred by injury and drug problems. He was arrested in 1986 after an altercation with police in Tampa, Florida. He first tested positive for cocaine use in 1987 and his problems have, since, persisted. He was arrested in March 2010 for leaving the scene of a car accident, after which he was discovered to have been under the influence of a controlled substance, which was not identified to the public. He was then charged with endangering the welfare of a child and was court-ordered to undergo outpatient drug treatment.

Golf Pro Jon Daly

Golfer Jon Patrick Daly is widely recognized in the sport of golf. He famously drives the ball a country mile, earning him the nickname "Long John." He also won the 1991 PGA Championship and the 1995 U.S. Open, both of which are major events. He is also widely acknowledged to have addiction to alcohol, which has contributed to his fitful career. Occasionally, when playing badly, he has reacted by acting out on a golf course with antics like hitting six balls into a water hazard in a row, and shooting an 18 on one hole during a tournament.

His behavior and his well-known problems have contributed to his popularity. Golf is a relatively staid and straight-laced game with expectations of mannered play and politeness. Daly, in contrast, is the everyman on the course. People related to his rough behavior and his problems with weight and drinking. In an autobiography, he also says he has a serious problem with gambling addictions.

Last known whereabouts … Daly in 2009 attempted a comeback, having shed 100 pounds, dropping down to 185, which he calls slim and trim. But troubles persist. His latest escapades involve his second wife Sherrie Miller, who has been court-ordered to seek treatment for drug addition.

All American Basketball Star Len Bias

Len Bias was a first-team All-American basketball star at the University of Maryland when died of a cocaine overdose two days after being selected by the Boston Celtics in the 1986 National Basketball Association draft. He was the second overall pick that year, suggesting he was the second most sought after college player in the country when he died.

At that point, Bias had already discussed an endorsement contract with Reebok sports shoes valued at $1.6 million. He was on his way to fame and fortune. Instead, his life ended in the early morning of June 19 of that year, after an all-night of visiting with friends. Reportedly, cocaine, which he had used at about 3 AM, was the only drug in his system when he died.

Star athletes are influential, well-loved people. He had a new sports car and the brightest of futures, all cut short by cocaine. In a memorial service held at the university's Cole Field House, 11,000 people came to pay their respects.

Help for this article came from Axis Recovery at http://www.axisresidentialtreatment.com/drug-abuse/addiction-pro-sports/, Psychology Today at https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/addiction and The Coalition Against Drug Abuse at http://drugabuse.com/30-famous-athletes-who-have-battled-drug-addiction-and-alcoholism/.

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