Star athlete → injury → prescription painkillers → opioid addiction → dealing drugs → homeless

It was a botched play. The kid hit me in my back. I started coughing up blood.

It was my junior season in college and I played through it. I was pretty much lying to the trainers about how much pain I was in. I knew I wouldn’t be able to redshirt; I would have lost the rest of the season. With maybe five games left, I hurt my shoulder. That’s when I got prescribed Percocet.

It was like heaven. It numbed everything. When I was on the pills, I felt like I was a step ahead on the field. Dialed in. I don’t know how to explain it. It was out-of-body. I would eat a bunch of pills before the games to take the edge off, and more after the games because I was drained. I’d go to the training room, take a few, and then take an ice bath. I didn’t feel anything.

It wears off, and you think, ‘I need more of this.’

Within months I was an addict, and then an addict out of control – lying, selling, stealing – just to pay for my next fix. At one point I was taking 30 pills a day.

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