Famous Baseball Star Struggles with Addiction Problem

Most addicts and their families suffer in quiet desperation.  Their sorrows and travails are not the fodder of the mainstream media.  Their only newsprint highlights will likely be a paragraph about a drug-related arrest, or an obituary notice if they overdose.  Those who live their lives in the public limelight bear a different burden as they fight their battle with addiction.  Reversions or indiscretions can be indiscriminately aired, and opened to public opinion and commentary.  Regardless, the struggle to overcome addiction and live a sober life will always remain a very personal and very private battle.

Struggling with Addiction

Major League Baseball player, Josh Hamilton, is a high-profile substance abuser who remains at risk of reversion, no matter the consequences and no matter how desperate the struggle to remain sober. 

While alcohol has been his nemesis, he most recently tested positive for cocaine use.  He now faces Major League Baseball discipline. 

As a gifted professional athlete, his substance abuse has cost him much.  He was reinstated to MLB in 2006 after drug-related suspensions totaling three years.  His reinstatement included a stipulation he get drug-tested three times weekly.

In January of 2009, Hamilton went on a one-night drinking binge at a bar in Phoenix, Arizona.  Months later, photos of his alcohol-related misconduct were published on Deadspin.  As with most anyone who has been addicted to alcohol, one can never be lulled into believing he can have “just one drink”—and stop there.

An alcohol relapse claimed him again in 2012.

The incredible self- discipline, drive and dedication required of an athlete of his caliber to rise to the pinnacle of the sport of baseball, yet ultimately succumbing to the force and impingement of the drug cravings of addiction, offers deep insight into the all-consuming and destructive power of substance abuse.

Drug and Alcohol Reversion

It may be that reversion to drugs or alcohol after getting sober is one of the least understood aspects drug and alcohol rehabilitation and substance abuse treatment.  While much research and documentation underlies the physical and mental nature of cravings and consequent reversion, the basics are explained herein.

The mental and physical cravings for alcohol or drugs are the first barrier to recovery that an addict must overcome.  It is cravings—the strong and uncontrollable urges to use alcohol or drugs—that drive the addict to use addictive substances again.

An addict craving drugs feels like life itself depends upon getting and taking their drug of choice.  An addict will say or do nearly anything in order to get the substance that will handle their intense cravings.  Once their craving is satisfied, the addict will experience relief until the drug or alcohol wears off—and the cravings return.

Research done in the 1970’s on sauna detoxification of the body revealed that drug metabolites (protein-based molecules created as by-products of filtration through the liver) that do not leave the body through urine or sweat, find their way into the body fat cells. 

These drug metabolites remain stored in the body fat cells.  When the addict (or any person) experiences a situation in life which causes their heart rate to increase, the body will burn fat cells—a metabolic process to create energy.  Such in-life situations as stress, strenuous exercise, or intense emotion are common sources.

When an addict’s body metabolizes the fat containing drug metabolites from past drug and alcohol use, the drug metabolites will activate back into the bloodstream as the body burns fat cells.

The drug metabolites present in the blood stream will trigger memories of drug-related experiences, physical cravings for the drug, and the person will be prone to use alcohol or drugs at these times.

The Hubbard Method of Detoxification has proven effective in ridding the body of stored drug metabolites, and the resultant drug cravings.  If only Josh Hamilton knew.