Lamar Odom Reveals Son’s Death Accelerated Drug Addiction

Lamar Odom Says Son's Death Accelerated Drug Addiction
Photo Credit: Joseph Sohm

Lamar Odom revealed in a letter on The Player’s Tribune on Thursday that his cocaine abuse became significantly worse after his 6-month-old son, Jayden, died suddenly in the summer of 2006.

I think everything probably picked up at that point, with the drugs. Even subconsciously. 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.Lamar Odom

In the letter, which was accompanied by a video, Odom showed a raw and vulnerable side of himself, speaking honestly about how his cocaine addiction affected his life, his children’s lives, and the lives of those who cared about him, including ex-wife, Khloe Kardashian.

Odom’s Cocaine Addiction

Odom explained how he first tried cocaine on a trip to Miami when he was 24. Before that, the most he’d done was some marijuana, but Odom was no stranger to hardship and loss. He shared how losing his mother to cancer at the age of 12 left a deep scar, and how losing his grandmother, who had been instrumental in raising him, and other family members in a short period of time in his 20s made him turn to coke to reduce his anxiety and pain. By the time he was in his 30s, Odom says he “just wanted to get high all the time. That’s it, just get high. And things got dark as hell.”

“Nah, I wasn’t blind to it. Shame … pain, he said, “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’s now infamous 2015 stay at the Love Ranch, a brothel in Las Vegas, sent the ex-NBA player into a four day coma as a result of a near-fatal overdose.

When you’re an addict, nothing can get through to you. I never thought I was going to die. I never thought I’d be in a coma. I didn’t think I had a problem. But then I woke up in a bed with tubes coming out of my mouth — and it was real. Odom

In late 2016, Odom entered rehab in California, where he says he learned about addiction and that it was a brain disease.

“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.”

What Odom Says about his Sobriety

The former basketball star understands that addiction is not a curable disease, in fact, he admits he struggles with it on a daily basis.

I’m sober now. But it’s an everyday struggle. I have an addiction. I’ll always have an addiction. It never goes away. I mean, I want to get high right now. But I know that I can’t if I want to be here for my children. Odom

He is grateful for what he still has, especially his two teenage children, and he is humbled by the memories of those he has lost.

Getting Help for Drug Addiction

If you or someone you love is struggling with cocaine addiction or any other substance abuse disorder, now is the time to get professional help. At Get Treatment, we can provide the resources, tools and guidance you need to begin on your path to recovery. Don’t let addiction control your life any longer; dial 855-638-9268 today to learn more about how we can help you find the drug addiction treatment program that’s right for you.

Erica Loret de Mola

Erica Loret de Mola is a communications major who has been writing about addiction treatment for approximately three years. As content manager and editor in chief of Get Treatment, she strives to provide the most accurate and current information available to our clients.


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