Josh Hamilton’s Testament to Drug Addiction Recovery

Josh Hamilton’s Testament to Drug Addiction Recovery

Last Thursday, in Arlington, Texas, Major league Baseball was hit with tragedy. Shannon Stone fell to his death attempting to catch a baseball tossed to him by Texas Rangers All-Star outfielder Josh Hamilton; an accident that Hamilton is still struggling to come to terms with. Texas Rangers president Nolan Ryan provided a statement after the tragedy noting that Hamilton is “very distraught” over the death.

This isn’t the only time Hamilton has had to fight to overcome a hardship. Fresh out of high school, Hamilton was chosen first in the draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, with a $3.96 million dollar signing bonus, in 1999. However, when he was injured in a car accident in 2001 he was sidelined from baseball and placed on the injured reserve. Now, with an abundance of free time and money to go with it, Hamilton began hanging with what many referred to as the “wrong crowd,” and he quickly succumbed to the pressures existing within such an environment. Eventually, Hamilton was covered in tattoos, including tribal signs he didn’t understand and images of the devil and Jesus; also experimenting with drugs and alcohol for the first time in his life. Hamilton continued abusing alcohol and drugs until 2005 when he hit rock bottom in drug addiction. He had lost 50 pounds, his complexion was ghostlike, he had been thrown out of the house where he lived with his wife and two daughters, and baseball was completely off his radar.

He was finally able to get clean from his alcohol and drug addiction after being confronted by his grandmother, Mary Holt. In August 2009, Hamilton apparently suffered a relapse when he was photographed drinking at a bar in Tempe, Arizona; where he also allegedly went to a strip bar and asked someone where he could score some cocaine. However, Hamilton came forward immediately after the incident, was honest about it and learned from his mistakes.

Hamilton was able to make an inspiring and inspirational comeback from his drug addiction, getting back into the majors and winning the 2010 American League MVP award. In light of the recent tragedy at Rangers stadium last week, some are wondering if the tragic death of the fan could lead to an alcohol and drug addiction relapse. However, Hamilton has stated that his strong faith has helped him this most difficult time, helping him stay strong. Hamilton’s story further exemplifies the fact that sobriety is a daily struggle, one we always need to work at; and with hard work, successful addiction recovery is within reach!


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