Baseball MVP Admits to Addiction Relapse
(DALLAS) — Texas Rangers’ outfielder Josh Hamilton, the 2010 American League MVP who has battled alcohol and drug addictions for over a decade, admitted Friday he relapsed and had several drinks on Monday night.
In a press conference, Hamilton, 30, said while dealing with personal issues, he went to a Dallas restaurant and in a “weak moment,” had about three or four drinks.
Teammate Ian Kinsler joined him later and the two left and eventually went to another restaurant across the street. Kinsler drove Hamilton home and asked Hamilton if he was planning to go back out. Hamilton said he wasn’t planning to go anywhere.
But, the All-Star confessed, he ended up back at the same restaurant he and Kinsler visited earlier.
“It was just wrong. That’s what it comes down to,” Hamilton said. “I needed to be responsible at that moment.”
He later reported the incident to the team and to Major League Baseball and underwent two drug tests.
Hamilton said he plans to meet with the league’s doctors in New York in the next few days, and stressed he is serious about staying clean and sober.
“I cannot take a break from my recovery. My recovery is an everyday process.”
The relapse is not Hamilton’s first. In August 2009, Hamilton was photographed drinking in a bar in Tempe, Ariz., which he said was the first drink he had since he vowed to stay sober in October 2005.
Dr. David Sack, chief executive officer of Promises Treatment Centers in Los Angeles and Malibu, said stumbles like Hamilton’s are pretty common on an addict’s road to recovery.
“Most people who achieve long-term sobriety have failed multiple times before they’ve succeeded,” Sack told ABC News. “But an athlete has strong motivation to keep pursuing treatment because their livelihood and career depend on it. In our experience, they do remarkably well with treatment.”
Hamilton has gotten significant support from baseball management and his teammates in his efforts to stay alcohol-free. His teammates stopped drinking in front of him, even shielding him from the smell of alcohol. The 2011 American League champion team’s postseason celebrations eschewed the traditional champagne showers for ginger ale and water.
ESPN reported that the Texas Rangers are working to get Hamilton recovery-related support, which Sack said may include a combination of addiction medications like Naltrexone and individual therapy to explore what factors triggered his alcohol relapse.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio