Indianapolis, IN - Former Indianapolis Colts’ star, Ryan Leaf, recently opened up about his battle with addiction and how he managed to overcome it. Addiction treatment professionals and members of the recovery community applaud Leaf for sharing his story and helping to reduce the stigma around reaching out for help with addiction. When celebrities share their experiences, people struggling with active substance use disorder can relate, and many will be motivated to seek help themselves.
Ryan Leaf was joined by Indianapolis community leaders and addiction experts on a recent nationwide speaking tour in which he shared his story of addiction and how he transformed his life. Leaf recounted his experience falling from NFL stardom (he was the second overall NFL draft pick in 1998) to being called “the biggest bust in the league”. He turned to painkillers as a way to numb his mental and emotional anguish and quickly developed an addiction. At his lowest point, Lead attempted to take his own life. The next day he was arrested for breaking into the homes of friends to steal their pills. He spent 32 months in prison.
At first, nothing changed for Leaf in prison. “My narcissism, my self-loathing, existed pretty much through the whole period,” he said. But he had a cellmate, a combat veteran who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan and had killed someone in a drunk driving accident. About 26 months into Leaf’s sentence his cellmate told him his head was buried in the sand. He told him he didn’t understand the value he had both to the guys in prison and when he got out. He told Leaf they were going to the prison library that day to teach some other inmates how to read.
“It was the first time in my life that I had ever been of service to anybody but myself, ever,” Leaf said. These men were vulnerable enough to ask for help at 40, 50, 60 years old, and they didn’t know how to read. I started doing that and eventually, a light came on for me. I don’t know why it was something that simple, but it was. The self-loathing started to dissipate, and I knew that once I got out I had to make a 180-degree lifestyle change. I didn’t know what it was going to look like, and I was going to need a lot of help from people I had probably hurt in my life.”
When he was released from prison, Leaf was 32 months sober. But he knew that didn’t mean he was cured. He went straight to an addiction treatment center where he stayed for 90 days. When he finished the program, he knew that being of service to others was going to be a key component of his life going forward. He was hired as a driver for a recovery center and eventually moved into his current role as an ambassador for a recovery community that’s based in LA, Houston, and New York. He travels and shares his story with men and women across the country.
“It’s simply progress and not perfection. You’re not going to be perfect,” Leaf said. “These days, I do things completely different. I go to meetings. I meditate. I pray. I see a therapist every other week. I’m coming up on five years since I went to prison, and it doesn’t matter. It’s just about today.”
The Source, an addiction treatment center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, understands the courage it takes to make those first steps in early recovery. “Our compassionate staff has a keen understanding of what addiction is and the pain that is often part of the recovery process; particularly at the start. And we know from our own personal journeys how difficult treatment can be. But we also know the joy and freedom that recovery brings and we are able to share our experience, strength, and hope with each of our clients. In our eyes, no one is too far gone. We simply won’t give up on our clients,” said Bill Rodman, Founder and Director of Operations at The Source.
The Source understands that addiction is a mental health disorder and people suffering from it are often isolated and unsupported. Through their holistic approach which addresses underlying trauma and co-occurring conditions, they provide effective treatment for alcohol and drug addiction. “Our approach is to work through the pain with you, love you when no one else will, and help you on your way to a life that is filled with hope and joy beyond your wildest dreams,” said Rodman.
Anyone struggling with addiction, whether their own or that of a loved one, can speak to a treatment specialist at any time by calling (800) 204-0418. Visit www.thesourcetreatmentcenter.com to learn more.
SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]
The Source Treatment Center is the #1 addiction treatment center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Specializing in alcohol, rx and drug rehab. We are excited to help everyone who calls or walks through our doors.