Josh Gordon details his long struggle with drug abuse

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Suspended Browns receiver Josh Gordon says he wants to get himself off drugs and back in the NFL, and during a recent break from in-patient rehab, Gordon discussed the history of his drug abuse.

Gordon told Uninterrupted that, contrary to the narrative that the NFL banned him for weed, he has in reality been using many drugs, legal and illegal, for many years.

“I’ve used alcohol on many, many occasions, Xanax on many occasions, cocaine several occasions, marijuana most of my life, codeine, cough syrup, methazine — very prevalent where I’m from. It’s what I grew up using,” Gordon said.

Gordon said people have usually looked past his drug use because he’s such a talented football player. He said at Baylor, in particular, he got away with whatever he wanted to do: A Baylor coach actually gave him a substance he could drink before taking drug tests designed to mask the presence of drugs in his system.

“I’ve been enabled most of my life,” Gordon said. “I’ve been enabled by coaches, teachers, professors, everybody, pretty much, gave me a second chance because of my ability. Not too long after I got arrested for possession of marijuana at Baylor, one of my coaches came by saying, ‘You are going to get drug tested by the compliance office. This is how it’s going to work, this is what they are going to do. If they do call you in, here goes these bottles of detox.’ He showed me how to drink them, showed me how to take them. That was my first experience with getting over on the system and the authority not really being serious because it was being guided by someone who was employed by the university.”

Gordon is eligible to apply for reinstatement but has not yet done so. He says he is invested in getting all the help he needs and will then turn his attention to returning to football. As an incredibly talented player who is just 26 years old, Gordon does have a chance.

65 responses to “Josh Gordon details his long struggle with drug abuse

  1. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by the enabling/help he received, but it just makes me sick. I just hope he gets his life on track. Football is secondary.

  2. WOW… great insight… us as the general public JUDGE these players and have NO IDEA what its like to have people kiss our feet ever since High school or even middle school. I think we all had a feeling that these players got treated with white gloves growing up and struggle when they hit the NFL… i do hope Josh gets his life in order and IF we ever see him on a NFL field again we all know the man did his best for change!

  3. Sounds like he might-again might have grown up enough to realize what he needs to do but for everyone one who tells the same story there are many that are blowing smoke you know where. Lawrence Taylor said the same stuff, Darryl Strawberry, Chris Herron, Dexter Manley, Dwight Gooden, Steve Howe etc etc Some get clean stay clean,

    Hope he succeeds but Geez WTF is going on at Baylor, sure things happen everywhere but it seems like everything happened at Baylor.

  4. I just don’t have a lot of sympathy for a guy who was so talented people covered for him. As if it’s their fault. It’s not … it’s you.

  5. It’s not either/or. There’s plenty of blame to go around to both him and his enablers.

    Much like Aldon Smith, I suspect he will have to get away from the NFL world in order to stay clean.

  6. It is an either/or situation. While the enablers deserve some blame, the overwhelming responsibility for drug abuse is the person in the mirror. It wasn’t oppression, or another group, it’s the individual making horrible decisions.

  7. Good luck to Josh Gordon. He seems like a genuinely good kid, hope he can turn his life in the right direction.

  8. It’s not either/or…the enablers are putting him (and who knows how many others) at risk for their own benefit.

  9. The reason people don’t have “sympathy” for athletes is 99% of us have no idea of the predatory tactics boosters have toward student athletes. They don’t care about players, they care about the program – you have influential people taking advantage of kids…and you talk about not having sympathy.
    Yes every kid should be mature, every kid should be self aware and every kid should have a rock solid home support structure – reality is that’s completely untrue.

  10. I am sorry, but I know plenty of people who used alcohol and drugs in high school, etc, went to college, and don’t throw away millions of dollars, or in the average person’s case, thousands of dollars and a career.

    I fully realize addiction is real and terrible, but this guy has been 1000 chances to get it right, remove himself from his supposed friends, and he refuses to do it. Those are all of his choices.

    Many addicts can’t afford a rehab clinic and he’s had people bending over backwards to help this loser.

    Sorry, I don’t feel sorry for him in particular. He’s a lazy, entitled Millennial who has thrown a career away and financial security, which is hard for the average person to relate to.

    In all seriousness, his next drug arrest, jail might be a good move for him. It saved David Crosby’s life.

  11. “I’ve been enabled most of my life,”

    That’s the biggest issue with all of these players playing professional sports, every step of the way, Coaches throughout their lifes have been enabling these players because of their talent….

  12. Glad to see this story. The posts for this story show something that is being lost..

    The majority of these posts are wishing this man well. We do not know him.

    His color does not matter, the fact his is an NFL player does not matter. We

    rally around the difficult circumstance of a fellow American.

    That is why standing for the flag matters. In moments of need, we are simply..Americans.

  13. Aldon Smith applied for reinstatement over a year ago now. Gooddell is clearly boycotting him from the NFL. I expect Gordon to receive the same treatment whenever he decides to reinstate.

  14. This is a HUGE step to overcoming his problem. Good for him to open up about it. He has incredible talent but he has been squandering it away. Hopefully for him this is the start to getting it turned around and not just saying what he thinks the NFL wants to hear. He’s probably on his last chance but after hearing this maybe he finally is working on getting clean. Here’s hoping he’s successful.

  15. So, how is the reality of his using marijuana for most of his life (and used other drugs too) somehow “contrary” to the “narrative” that the NFL banned him for substance abuse? It maybe only part of the ugly picture but it’s hardly contrary, and it is what got him banned.

  16. So much hate. It’s hard for people to understand unless they e been through it. The obvious argument is “I haven’t been through it bc I knew better.” What if you didn’t? Or what if you did and couldn’t stop anyway? What if everyone around you did the same? Think it’s impossible, take a good look around you. How many people you know do exactly what their parents do? I really hope Josh finds his way. People are dying.

  17. I am cheering for Josh. I do not think drug addiction is a disease, but I do think it is a daily struggle for some people to try and stay clean. I know some people that will never understand it starts with them and I have several friends that have been winning their fights against their addictions for you years. Once you can admit to yourself that you are an addict, you will always be an addict. You have to make the choice with yourself that you will not let that back into your life. I’ve seen it done. I’ve seen people turn it around. That’s why I want Josh to win. He can show many others that it’s possible.

  18. So much for the narrative that the NFL banned him for just weed.
    Dude was in bad shape. Hope he recovers well, keeps it up and eventually gets a shot back in the NFL, clean.

  19. So what Gordon is saying, is that marijuana, which the pro marijuana people always tell us is non addictive, was so addictive to him that he couldn’t live his life without it
    You clearly have a great understanding of addiction. Please tell us more.

    In reality Josh has an addictive personality. MJ isn’t the culprit, he is. Millions of Americans use it recreationally and don’t have their lives ruined. But some people can get addicted to anything.

  20. Good for Josh Gordon. I was never really a fan of his, but seeing this type of honesty is a great step in the process of recovery. I wish him nothing but the best on his journey to get better.

  21. Josh I hope you can overcome your troubles and addictions. You’re not alone Josh. I read an article years back that was published by the CDC, it said 70% of people in the U S go to work while under the influence of some form of substance..

  22. the rules are always different depending on the talent you have. just as hasselbeck said before the game last night about jerry shooting his mouth off about players not playing, if its dak, zeke, dez they play regardless, no way he sits them or ships them off to another team

  23. Acknowledgement of the problem is the first step. You can spend 5 years in rehab but if you don’t accept that you have a problem, it’s pointless. And people here that say he is blaming it on others, I think that’s a little harsh. He doesn’t blame anyone for his getting into drugs, he’s making factual statements about how someone like him is able to get so far without having to take responsibility for his actions. Enablers are not the cause of addiction, but they are a huge part of the problem of ongoing addiction. Who knows what would have happened if that coach at Baylor had intervened to get him help instead of helping him beat the test?

    Either way, I wish him the best.

  24. Having a figure of authority guide you down the wrong path in life can not be good, so when he reached the NFL he was most likely looking for the same exact treatment.

  25. He’s not taking any responsibility. He was enabled. He’ll never stop until he accepts responsibility himself for doing drugs.

  26. I hear “it’s their fault” not “it’s my fault.”

    As someone who has had drug abusers in their family, this is a tell tale sign that he’s not ready. He needs to understand he had choices throughout this process, and realize someone can only be enabled down a road they were already traveling on.

    Maybe this article only focused on parts of the interview where he was talking over and above his own accountability? I hope that’s the case.

  27. Get cleaned up … Then comeback and play for My Jaguars … With you and Allen Robinson on the other side … we would be unstoppable … Go Jaguars !!!

  28. Acknowledging his issue is a huge step, as well as understanding that his football skills had those around him enabling feeding his addiction is a great step in recognizing the risks he has in falling back into that hole.

    I wish him well in his personal life. It’d be great to see him return to the field once he is ready and feels confident that he can keep himself clean in that environment.

  29. His chances are about as equal as Manziel. I wouldn’t hold my breath. Being 26 and out of the league for 2+ years may as well be 32. Simply put, he blew it. He’s working to make his life better, but it won’t include the NFL. He can be a speaker to children about what not to do, about what could have been, how he chased a high over his career opportunities.

  30. I was a H addict years ago. When I decided to quit, three rehab programs later, I finally made it. I fear ending up back there so terribly, I don’t even take pills when I am sick. Every man in my ancestry was an alcoholic. I am an addict, always will be. I feel the weakness for chemical dependency is part of some people’s DNA, for some reason. We who suffer from it have a daily struggle not to succumb. People who do not, not such a struggle.

    Kudos to him for recognizing he has a problem. I hope he manages to overcome it, but, it is something he will struggle with the rest of his life. Courage, MAN, you will need it.

  31. Some of you commentors are just mindboggling, with your “still blaming others”.

    there’s a huge difference between sharing your experiences (vital to effective rehab) and blaming others for your problems.

    One of the first quotes he said was “Its what I grew up using”. Thats acceptance and ownership. He went on to describe how people overlooked his drug use bc of his talent, which isnt the same thing as blaming people for it happening. Sheesh

  32. Addiction is a cunning enemy of life…
    With a little honesty, open mindedness, and willingness he can turn things around. I am really rooting for him.

  33. I’m not your friend buddy. I’m not your buddy guy. I’m not your guy buddy says:
    October 10, 2017 at 8:48 am
    So what Gordon is saying, is that marijuana, which the pro marijuana people always tell us is non addictive, was so addictive to him that he couldn’t live his life without it… Got it. Carry on
    Yea let’s ignore the rest of the drugs he mentioned too.

    Different people react differently to “addiction”. It’s not addictive like cigarettes or cocaine or any hard/dangerous drugs can be, everything has a level of “addiction” depending on the person. Some people can be “addicted” to soda, etc. Stop twisting his words and being ignorant. Thanks carry on.

  34. Since they didn’t publish the entire interview, I’m not going to pass judgement on whether or not he has taken responsibility for his actions.

    Some people at Baylor should be fired if they are still there from Gordon’s time there. They put the interests of their program above the health of a 20 year old kid, for greed and glory. I hope the NCAA investigates.

  35. Just watched the 13min UnInterrupted story referenced in the article. Josh Gordon takes complete ownership of his failures, abuses and decisions while taking you along the path that has humbled him and almost cost him his life.

    I hope this young man is able to remain sober for the rest of his life first and foremost and live a healthy and productive life. He seems like he reached a level of darkness and bottoming out that doesn’t always allow for recovery.

    Maybe he’ll never reach his potential on the football field but that seems besides the point. However if he does, I’ll be rooting for him either way.

  36. OK. So the coaches at Baylor helped him cheat on the drug habit. But what about the student part? Do athletes even have to bother attending any classes or buying any books at this fine Baptist institution?

  37. “I have been enabled”.

    Apparently this clown is still not ready to accept full responsibility for his substance abuse. He is trying to pin it on others.

  38. the documentary is likely just his knee jerk reaction to witnessing the Browns’ receiving corps this season

  39. Gordon should have got addicted to killing people or beating on women. then Roger would have fallen all over himself trying to get Gordon back in the league. inject the devil’s lettuce that is a bridge too far.

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