On Thursday, the Players’ Tribune released an article featuring 2011 Sixth Man of the Year, Lamar Odom. In the article, Odom detailed his 2015 near-death experience and his struggles with cocaine addiction.
Odom discussed waking up in a hospital room in Nevada, where he found out he had been in a coma for four days. The doctors revealed that they didn’t think he was going to make it and it was a miracle he was still alive. That’s when he realized he was in a bad position, the situation was real and his addiction had taken over his life.
“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. I didn’t want to control it.”
Odom discussed the start of his addiction. He revealed he lost his mother at a young age but the only thing that kept him going was his grandmother and basketball. But, when he lost his grandmother in his twenties that is when things started to take a turn for the worse.
“I lost a lot of family members in a short period of time. When I did coke, I felt good for a minute. I stopped having so much anxiety. I didn’t think about the paid. I didn’t think about death. So I kept doing it more and more, but I was still in control. It wasn’t like an everyday thing.”
Two years later, his son died and that was the call that changed his life forever. Odom revealed that is when he started using heavily.
“With cocaine especially, there’s a high, and then an emotional low. So it’s like a roller coaster.”
As Odom got older, he just wanted to do coke all the time. He had hit rock bottom, but nothing could get through to him.
“When you’re an addict, nothing can get through to you. I never thought I was going to die. I never thought I’d be in a coma. I didn’t think I had a problem. But then I woke up in a bed with tubes coming out of my mouth – and it was real.”
Upon waking up, doctors revealed that Odom’s kids had just stopped by, which struck a nerve with the former baller. He realized he had to make a change.
He went to rehab, had a few sessions with his children and came out clean.
“I’m sober now. But it’s an every day struggle. I have an addiction. I’ll always have an addiction. It never goes away. I mean, I want to get high right now. But I know that I can’t if I want to be here for my children.”
“I still got my kids. I’m still here. And damn, I’m still pretty handsome,” he said.