It’s important to realize that there is hope in even the bleakest situations, light in the darkest parts of our lives. Many people who can attest to this truth, but maybe none as much or as publicly as Lamar Odom. Odom, who you probably know from his all-star basketball career, or his marriage to Khloe Kardashian has experienced traumatic lows between his exuberant highs. It took Odom several attempts over two decades to beat his addiction to drugs, but with the support of his family he was able to recover.
As a child of drug addiction, Lamar Odom was raised in Queens, NY by a single mother who took him to live with his grandparents after years of witnessing his father’s addiction to heroin and the devastation it caused. Often, children whose parents use drugs begin using them at a young age and Odom was no exception. He began smoking marijuana very young and also found an escape on the basketball court. When his mother died of colon cancer shortly after he turned twelve, he dove further into drugs to cope with the loss.
In 2002 Odom’s life looked perfect. He was offered a six year, $65 million contract with the Miami Heat and he had his second child, but with the fame came a new lifestyle of excess. He was introduced to cocaine in Miami and continued to struggle with his addiction to it for 15 years. Six months later, his third child passed away from sudden infant death syndrome. Odom sought refuge in cocaine and ecstacy and again slipped into the depths of addiction. After being traded to the Los Angeles Lakes and marrying Khloe Kardashian, Odom’s drug use continued at a frenzied pace. He threatened Khloe and grew paranoid. Kardashian filed for divorce after six years citing Odom’s drug addiction and infidelity and his perfect life began to spiral.
In 2015, while working hard to revive his NBA career, Lamar Odom spent a weekend at the The Love Ranch, a brothel near Las Vegas, NV. After three days at the ranch, Odom was found unconscious in his room and rushed to Sunrise Hospital where had had twelve seizures and six strokes. His heart stopped twice. After regaining consciousness, Odom had to relearn basic motor skills and how to walk. If there was a rock bottom in his life he’d found it. Overcoming his struggle with drug addiction would require help. Fortunately, he had a strong support group in his children. After his eldest daughter told him that she would no longer speak to him unless he addressed his addiction, Odom knew that he needed to take his recovery seriously.
A support community is essential for people struggling to recover from drug addiction. Lamar Odom had the support of his family during his recovery, but that is a luxury that not everyone is afforded. Many people struggle alone and don’t talk about their illness because they fear the stigma attached to it. The struggles of athletes and celebrities are often public because of their lifestyle, but making your individual struggle public isn’t necessary. What is important is talking to someone who can help you. Find a friend or a therapist who you can talk to. Get involved in a recovery program where you can meet other people struggling with the same things. It’s important for progress to build a community around yourself during recovery and to keep those people close afterward.
It’s called the road to recovery for a reason: the journey is rarely a short one and requires patience and dedication. Like Lamar Odom, many people struggle with drug addiction for years before they begin to recover. We wouldn’t use words like struggle and process if the answers to recovery were easy or the path was clear. What is most important is taking the first steps and having the courage to get back up when you’ve fallen down, the fortitude to keep going. Don’t lose hope if things won’t fall into place the first time—or the twentieth time—stay motivated and connected to a community of supporters. Sometimes, it takes more than once to make a lasting change and that’s okay.
One of the most important things about sobriety is finding what works for you. Many people find that twelve step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous are extremely helpful in providing structure and discipline while others don’t like the rigidity built into these programs and prefer something more easy going. Regardless of what your style is, finding a routine that fits it is paramount. If exercising helps keep you focused then make it a daily practice. If going to church or other religious practices bring you serenity, then make them a habit. There are a million different ways to find healing and what works for someone else might not work for you. Simply take what you need and leave the rest. Building a program around honesty and community that suits your needs and working hard are the best strategies for recovery.
At Harmony Place in Woodland Hills, California, we provide a relaxing, comfortable environment for addiction treatment and recovery with many addiction treatment program options. Contact us today at 1-(888)-789-4330 to learn more about our services and how you or your loved one can prepare for a successful rehabilitation from drug and alcohol addiction at our California treatment center to treat and maintain sobriety.