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I shook hands with death: Lamar Odom on his near-death experience after cocaine overdose

Posted on 07-28-2017 Posted in Drug Addiction Treatment - 0 Comments

As an NBA player, Lamar Odom has seen so much and got whatever he wanted in his life. But he certainly didn’t want to see his death so closely, thanks to his drug habits which saw him in coma for four days as he battled for life. The former Los Angeles Laker poured his heart as he narrated his fight with drugs in a just published The Player’s Tribune article.

In one of the most real and powerful stories published on the website to date, Odom opened up about his 2015 near-death experience when he was found unconscious in a Nevada brothel and the subsequent fight to attain complete sobriety. Recalling the time when he woke up from the coma, he admitted to feeling helpless and trapped inside his own body.

According to the 37-year-old, when he woke up in the hospital room in Nevada, he couldn’t move, couldn’t talk and his throat hurt like hell. He was panicked when he found those tubes coming out of his mouth. He was surprised to see his ex-wife Khloe Kardashian, who separated from him about a year ago owing to his drug habit and infidelity, by his side. As per him, that was the time when he knew that he was probably in a really bad shape.

Talking about his miraculous recovery, the athlete added the doctors told him that it was a miracle that he was alive and that they feared he was not going to make it. For the first time, he could not talk his way out of the situation and was trapped all day long in his own thoughts. Recalling the shocking incident, Odom said he was in total shock at that point and could not say anything clever at the time or ask any questions. At the time, he felt completely helpless and just two inches tall.

Cocaine is a hell of a drug!

As per Odom, he had not tried cocaine until the age of 24 when he was introduced to the drug at a party in Miami. He soon got addicted. “Anybody who’s lived a complicated, drug-infused life like I’ve lived knows the cycle — with women, cheating on my wife, s–t like that. Nights when I should have been asleep. Nights when I stayed up sniffing coke. Lot of those nights,” he wrote.

the NBA veteran confessed to having been taking cocaine every day till his 2015 emergency. According to him, “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.” Calling cocaine a “hell of a drug,” he said it is dangerous and could make a person do things that he never thought he would do. The drug turns one into a different person and makes him suffer through terrible situations, he admitted.

On dealing with trauma

Odom also talked about the trauma he underwent when he lost his mother, “the center of his universe,” at the age of 12 to colon cancer. He remembered how cancer had taken over her body and how she still told him to be nice to everybody when he went to see her. As his father was never there while growing up due to his problem with addiction, the young boy was raised by his grandmother. According to him, though under trauma, he was able to get through that time because of his grandmother and his love for basketball. Those two things protected him.

Incidentally, the first time Odom took coke was around the same time when his grandmother passed away. According to him, he had lost a lot of family members in a short period of time. He found solace in coke as it took away his pain and anxiety, so he felt good for some time. While he kept taking more and more of coke, it was not like an everyday thing, he was still in control. However, the incident that put him back on the drugs came in about two years later in the summer of 2006 when Odom lost his six-month-old son Jayden to infant death syndrome. It was at that point that he probably picked up his drug habit.

Being sober

Though the athlete is sober at present, it is still an everyday battle for him. He credits his sobriety to his children. Accepting that he has an addiction problem, he knows that he cannot get high as he wants to be there for his children.  “I shook hands with death. But you know what? Ain’t no coming back from that. Even though my funeral would probably be a good funeral, and there’d probably be a lot of people who hadn’t seen each other in a long time. But it ain’t time for that yet,” he said.

The fighter in Odom helped him come out of such a precarious situation of his life. He is now sober because addiction is treatable. It is a disease, not a crime. So seeking help is important. Anyone can fight addiction, the sooner the better.

Offering the highest level of care to patients, Sovereign Health of Florida offers top-notch cocaine addiction treatment at both Pompano Beach and Fort Myers facilities. Sovereign Health understands that each patient is different and that everyone takes to drugs for a different reason. Therefore, basis a patient’s symptoms and level of addiction the treatment program may include detoxification, behavioral therapies, and experiential therapy including meditation, yoga, equine therapy, music therapy, and art therapy.

For more information on our evidence-based treatment programs or to locate our state-of-the-art cocaine rehab centers near you, call at our 24/7 helpline number. You can also chat online with our representative for further assistance.

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The dual diagnosis program was what attracted me to Sovereign Health. My therapist was always open for discussion and the group sessions were very informative and educational.

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