The sports world was reminded once again about the tragic affects of drug addiction, abuse and even irresponsibility. The tragedy that shook the NFL was the sudden death of Garrett Reid, son of Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid. Garrett Reid had reportedly struggled with heroin use in the past. Garrett was only 29 years old and 900 people came to pay respects and support to the Reid family at the recent funeral. Garrett had been working with the strength and conditioning coach, ostensibly on the right road away from the destruction and dysfunction of his past life.
Unfortunately, drug addiction is more than familiar territory for professional football. Another recent article recounted an interview of former New York Jets quarterback Ray Lucas, who almost lost his life along with everything else in a battle with prescription drug abuse. Ryan Leaf, a former professional quarterback drafted the same year as Peyton Manning, was recently arrested (again!) for breaking and entering into a friend’s house just for Vicodin and other prescription pain medications. Drug abuse is just as prevalent in the lives of those people who have ascended to heights of their career. Addiction does not discriminate, and even the unassuming are not immune to the detrimental consequences of drug or alcohol abuse.
NASCAR is another high-profile sport that has had to upbraid its members concerning drug addiction. A few years ago, the sport that is replete with beer sponsors, had to indefinitely suspend driver Jeremy Mayfield from competition due to methamphetamine abuse. More recently, this summer driver A.J. Allmendinger failed a drug test and has also been suspended. The tragedy here is one of poor decision-making when Allmendinger irresponsibly took some unknown medication from a friend, thinking it was an energy supplement.
Addiction In The Public Eye
What ever the scenario, the lesson here is that public figures, and particularly sports icons, can not only be good role models, but bad ones as well, all due to their choices. The responsibility grows as more and more public scrutiny is placed on an individual. Hopefully, those like Allmendinger can learn from the past and not suffer the tragic consequences of pursing a life-threatening activity, because, as the case of poor Garrett Reid, death is the unfortunate but last consequence of unchecked drug abuse. Allmendinger said in his interview, “I’ve made some bad judgments and I’m paying the price, but I’m going to fight. I’m going to fight hard to get back.” This is the attitude one must have and others must encourage in those suffering with the affliction of drug and alcohol addiction.Tags: Andy Reid, drug abuse, drug addiction, Garrett Reid, NFL, PED, performance enhancing drugs, Philadelphia Eagles, prescription drug addiction, Progressive Disease, Sports Drugs