Top 10 Athletes, Who Went to Rehab – How did they Manage Addiction? Where are they Now?

Being a successful athlete is challenging, but many aspects are less pleasant. Money and fame are nice but don’t forget about the pressure and temptations coming in the same package.

Do athletes use drugs and substances as well?

Staying away from daily temptations takes a lot of will power, and only strong characters manage to avoid drug or substance abuse. Unfortunately, there are plenty of athletes with addictive personalities, who give everything to achieve their highest potential. The percentage of athletes with addictive personalities who fail to stay on track is quite high.

More often than not, athletes develop dependencies on illegal substances or alcohol, and they have to go to rehab centers. However, just because they end the program, it doesn’t mean that they’ve eliminated addiction from their life forever. The experts from say that the risk for relapse and irreparable damage to their career remains high.

On top of everything else, the addiction problems go public, adding another problem to deal with in their life. The following athletes had it all: fame, money, but also addiction problems that escalated and went out of control. Give this post a read; it may clear up your ideas about addiction in athletes.

1. Vin Baker


You only need to take a look at Vin Baker’s career to notice when alcoholism started to take control over his life. After making it into four consecutive All-Star teams, Baker’s performance dropped all of a sudden. With Jim O’Brien (the coach of the Boston Celtics at the time) suspending him when smelling alcohol on Baker, his activity went into a continuous downfall. Even if he did go to rehab, the team released him the next season as he didn’t manage to follow the terms of the alcohol rehab program.

2. Jon “Bones” Jones


During an out-of-competition drug test, Jones tested positive for an illegal substance. Even if the positive testing didn’t affect Jone’s game on the light-heavyweight UFC title, he did enroll in a rehab program. He only spent one night, but his mother talked about his decision to stay with the program longer. It seems that substance use was just a one-time thing, but we can only wait and see what happens.

3. Josh Hamilton


When it comes toJosh Hamilton, we’re both blown away by his incredible talent and his long history of illegal substance and alcohol use. He has tried to get back on track ever since 2001 and has been in and out of professional baseball for several years. 2008 marked a successful comeback, and Josh Hamilton even managed to achieve the MVP Award in 2010. Unfortunately, it didn’t take him long to return to substance abuse. His future in the MLB is on the fence, and nobody can say what lies ahead for sure.

4. Dock Ellis


When it comes to psychedelic substance abuse, Ellis may be the most famous athlete to name. The Pirates pitcher became an illegal substance and alcohol counselor once he retired. After spending 40 days in a rehab center in Arizona, Ellis realized that it’s going to be challenging to stay on track without any support. He also noticed that the majority of counselors have never been addicts as well. He was determined to become a coordinator at the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program of the California Institute for Behavioral Medicine. It was his way of helping himself and others dealing with addiction at some point in their life.

5. Darryl Strawberry


His addiction altered his athletic career. Even if he has played for a long time and was successful too, the substance abuse did impact his performance and career. He went to rehab several times, but also violated the court-ordered treatment which put him in jail for almost a year.

Strawberry has been sober for more than ten years now and even opened multiple rehabilitation centers in order to pay it forward by helping people dealing with addiction.

6. Diego Maradona


If there would be just one athlete to name when it comes to addiction, Maradona is probably the most well-known name out there. Not only that, substance abuse affected his life, but it also caused significant health problems. He ended up in rehab in 2004 once again, when the cardiac capacity was only 35%. He was forced to experience the most unpleasant withdrawal symptoms while in rehab. However, his ex-wife thinks that it was the best thing that could happen at the moment, saving his life.

Even Maradona admitted that using drugs altered his abilities on the pitch, expressing his regrets of failing to reach his maximum potential as an athlete on the cause of drugs.

7. Miguel Cabrera


Even if Cabrera struggled with alcohol abuse, he has managed to find the will and power to overcome them. In 2009, he made a public appearance with scratches on the face from an early fight with the wife. His blood-alcohol was at a whopping .26. He went to rehab for three months, but it wasn’t enough for him to stay away from substance abuse. In 2011 he was arrested once more for drinking and driving. Maybe it was the last episode for Cabrera, who managed to win back-to-back MVP Awards ever since then. In 2012, he didn’t even attend the clubhouse celebration as he tried to remain committed to his sobriety.

8. Johnny Manziel


Due to intense partying and missing team activities, Manziel had to go to a rehab center for 28 days. It’s not sure if he’s still going to be with the Browns, which is why the team also signed the experienced Josh McCown. The coach Mike Pettine visited him while in rehab, admitting that the underlying cause of Manziel’s addiction is more severe than anticipated.

9. Lamar Odom


When Odom got arrested for DUI, he realized that he had to go to rehab for dealing with his addiction. There are many reports about how his addiction affected the marriage to Khloe Kardashian, and the marriage ended up in divorce.

Odom did try to catch up with his career but failed to attend the workouts and to join the Summer League team of his club.

10. Dennis Rodman


Denying you have an addiction is one of the main reasons for which you cannot heal from it. Dennis Rodman checked on his own into a rehab center for alcoholism, even though he publicly announced that he did not consider himself to be an alcoholic. He spent three weeks at the rehab center and promised to go back every six months for evaluation.