LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – A former NFL player takes part in the fight against the opioid epidemic in the United States
Former Detroit Lions fan Derek Price no longer lives football, but knows the struggle to adapt to life after playing in the NFL.
Some athletes treat themselves after their days in professional football to suppress injuries.
“There is no gradual turning. You play today and then you are no longer in the league, ”Price said. "Unfortunately, these habits remain with you. Some people may have used too many pills or dropped too deeply into the bottle. Your life dream is over. "
Price says that the stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic can trigger bad habits for addicts. For this reason, the NFL Alumni Association has partnered with American Addiction Centers (AAC) to provide a lifeline for former players, their spouses and children.
Price is the CEO of Desert Hope, a comprehensive residential addiction treatment facility in Las Vegas. The treatment center is part of the AAC.
Together, the organizations offer a scholarship for drug addicts.
“We have provided approximately $ 3 million in care. We say hey, give it to Beasley and say use it wisely. If you need more, let us know, ”Price said to 8 News Now.
Beasley Reece, another former NFL player and member of the NFL Alumni Association, says Price's work is inspiring.
"It is incredible that he falls back on the fact that his company is so generous that he thinks back to the boys with whom he played, who are struggling and are not as successful as he is in making this offer," says Reece said.
Reece and Rice acknowledge that there is a struggle to end the stigma of addiction. They hope that this program will encourage current and former heroes on the field to ask for help.
“It is an issue in our league and in our association. It's not much higher than the general population, but it does exist, ”said Reece. "Our job at NFL Alumni is to help boys live better in retirement."
"I would rather have someone who gets angry with me and says I cannot believe that you have entered my personal life. I can live with it better than with the fact that I have said nothing and they OD and die, ”said Price.
If you or an athlete you know are addicted to drugs, you can call the Desert Hope hotline. The number is (888) 983-0927.