Continuing our awareness series on celebrities who have either overcome an addiction or are currently fighting one, The Discovery House takes a look at former NBA star Lamar Odom.
Odom’s NBA career began as the fourth overall pick in the 1999 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Clippers. At 6’10”, his unique ability to handle the basketball like a point guard, along with his smooth athleticism, passing skills and rebounding prowess led to him winning Sixth Man of the Year with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2011, with whom Odom won two NBA Championships. Odom last appeared in the NBA in 2013 during his second stint with the Clippers. Growing up in New York City, Odom’s father was a known drug addict.
The first major drug-related event of Odom’s NBA career took place in the 2000-2001 season with the Clippers. It was revealed that the forward had been suspended for violating the NBA’s anti-drug policy for the second time in an eight-month span, and Odom admitted to using marijuana. However, in subsequent seasons, Odom relatively stayed out of drug/alcohol trouble.
Yet rumors of drugs and alcohol abuse began to resurface in 2011, after Odom was unsuccessfully traded to the New Orleans Hornets by the Lakers, then ultimately dealt to the Dallas Mavericks. Odom seemed to be heartbroken due to the Lakers dealing him away from Los Angeles, and he missed three games with the Mavericks in 2012 due to what was cited as “personal reasons”.
After returning to the Clippers in 2012, Odom was arrested for DUI in Los Angeles in 2013. He was given a probation sentence of three years and mandated three months of treatment. Rumors and allegations began to continuously swirl about Odom’s drug and alcohol abuse.
On October 13, 2015, Odom was found unconscious and unresponsive in a Nevada brothel, stemming from what was originally said to be a mixing of herbal Viagra and alcohol. He was ushered to Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas, after being deemed too tall to be airlifted by helicopter.
However, according to E! News, doctors discovered drugs in Odom’s system and are operating under their protocol for a patient suffering from an accidental drug overdose. Per DrugPolicy.org, accidental drug overdose is now the leading injury-related cause of death in the U.S. for adults between the ages 35-54 (Odom turns 36 on November 6). Accidental drug overdose deaths now occur more frequently than homicides, gun-related deaths and AIDS. DrugWarFacts.com reported nearly 44,000 drug overdose-related deaths in 2013. Odom reportedly suffered an ischemic stroke, typically associated with cocaine abuse. According to a source close to the situation, E! News has revealed Odom had been smoking crack cocaine for the last several days.
He currently remains unconscious and on a ventilator at the hospital, as it is believed his bodily organs are shutting down.
Odom’s current condition is a lesson of one never knowing when their next hit or fix could result in permanent serious physical harm, or even perhaps death. The hearts and thoughts of everyone at The Discovery House are with Odom and his family during this time.
If you or anyone you know are suffering from an addiction, please call The Discovery House today at (888) 962-8208.
Photo Curiosity of exnba.com