Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts was arrested late Sunday night and charged with driving under the influence and possession of a controlled substance. On March 16, police stopped Irsay for suspicious driving in the Indianapolis suburb of Carmel. After failing several roadside sobriety tests, police determined he was under the influence and searched his vehicle. Inside, they found several pill bottles of Schedule IV prescription drugs, enough to land Irsay four felony counts of possession of a controlled substance. He was released after posting bail Monday morning and has a court date scheduled for March 26.
A lifelong struggle
This is not Irsay’s first bout with addiction, nor is it the first time that the public has caught wind of his struggle.
According to the Indianapolis Star, in November 2002, Irsay admitted he checked himself into an out-of-state rehabilitation facility after becoming dependent on prescription pain medications. “After several years of orthopedic operations and procedures, accompanied by long bouts of chronic pain, I became dependent on prescription pain medication,” Irsay admitted. “This summer I sought professional help at a nationally recognized facility located outside Indiana.”
What he was not willing to admit, and maybe was not even aware of, was that recovery would continue to be an ongoing process. “I have successfully dealt with my dependence and my chronic pain issues,” Irsay proclaimed in that same 2002 statement. Even as recently as this past October, Irsay had publicly acknowledged the impact of his treatment and maintained his sobriety on numerous occasions.
A timely wakeup call
Though Irsay’s previous problems with prescription drugs were public knowledge, speculation that he may be struggling with drugs and alcohol again had been starting to mount within his inner circle recently. Those individuals hope this incident will serve as a timely wakeup call for Irsay; a reminder that you can never let your guard down in the battle against addiction – something he seems to have lost sight of over the years.
Thanks to this very public reminder, Irsay decided to once again reach out for help. In a statement issued by the Colts, the team announced he “voluntarily checked into a highly-respected health care facility and is committed to undergoing the treatment and care necessary to help him meet his challenges head-on.” By admitting that he still has a problem, Irsay has taken the most important step toward rehabilitation.
While Jim Irsay’s occupation and status bring extra attention to his situation, his struggle with alcohol and drug abuse is far from unique. Addiction is a disease that does not discriminate against anyone. If you or a loved one is dealing with an addiction, you do not have to face that challenge alone. Contact The Watershed today at 1-800-861-1768.