Odom opens up about his near-fa­tal coke hell

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS -

LOS AN­GE­LES — 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” and “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 six­month-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, it ain’t time for that yet. I still got my kids. I’m still here. And damn, I’m still pretty hand­some.”

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