Former NBA star Odom opens up about drug-fueled brush with death
Los Angeles (AFP)
Former NBA star Lamar Odom opened up on the Players' Tribune on Thursday about the roller-coaster of cocaine addiction that left him comatose and close to death after a Nevada brothel binge in 2015.
Although he's sober now, Odom writes on the website that it's "an every day struggle".
He recalled his shock upon waking in the hospital, having collapsed at the Love Ranch brothel outside Las Vegas.
"At some point, the main doctor came in and told me what had happened," Odom wrote. "He said, 'Mr. Odom, you've been in a coma for the last four days. Do you understand?' I couldn't talk. So I just nodded. He said, 'It's a miracle that you're here. We didn't think you were going to make it.'"
Odom, a two-time NBA champion who gained wider fame as the star of a reality television series with wife Khloe Kardashian, said that at the time he was "doing coke every day ... I couldn't control it."
Odom and Kardashian were separated at the time of his overdose. They reunited after the incident, but split again last year.
Odom said he didn't touch cocaine until he was 24 years old, when he was on vacation in Miami.
"If I knew that it was going to affect my life the way it did," he wrote, "I would've never even thought about it."
But the drug became an escape from the feelings of loss he felt after the death of his mother from cancer, the death of his beloved grandmother and the death of his six-month-old son, Jayden, to sudden infant death syndrome.
He said he knew his increasingly reckless behavior was destroying both his personal and professional life.
Now he credits rehab and the support of his family with keeping him going.
"Even though my funeral would probably be a good funeral, and there'd probably be a lot of people who hadn't seen each other in a long time. But it ain't time for that yet. ... I still got my kids. I'm still here. And damn, I'm still pretty handsome."
© 2017 AFP