Lamar Odom revealed in an essay on The Players’ Tribune on Thursday that his substance abuse got significantly worse around the time of his infant son’s death in 2006, when he was two years into his seven-year stint with the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I think everything probably picked up at that point, with the drugs,” the ex-NBA player wrote. “You don’t even know why you’re doing it at that point. I think subconsciously, you make yourself an addict because of the trauma that you’re going through.”
In the essay, which was accompanied by a video, a sober Odom showed a brutally honest side of himself, talking frankly about how his addiction affected his life, as well as the lives of those around him.
“You think I wasn’t feeling shame? You think I was blind to what I was doing?” he asked. “Nah, I wasn’t blind to it. Shame … pain. It’s part of the whole cycle. My brain was broken. As the years went on, and I got into my 30s, my career was winding down, and things just got out of control.”
Odom said he first tried cocaine when he was 24 during a summer stop in Miami. But by the time he was in his early 30s, he “just wanted to get high all the time. That’s it, just get high. And things got dark as hell.”
Around the time he overdosed inside a Nevada brothel, ”[he] was doing coke every day.”
“Pretty much every second of free time that I had, I was doing coke. I couldn’t control it,” he said. “It will make you do things you never thought you’d do. It will turn you into a different person. It will put you in situations where you say to yourself, ‘How the fuck did I get here?’”
Late last year, Odom entered rehab in San Diego, California, soon after his ex-wife, Khloe Kardashian, found drug paraphernalia inside a house she had rented him to help him get back on his feet. He says rehab has helped him learn to come to grips with some of his faults.
“In rehab you learn to submit to everything,” he said. “I’ve always been a really anxious person. I’ve been a worrier my whole life. But I’m learning to release everything. Or at least I’m trying to learn.”