Houston Astros Prospect Opens Up About…Pot Addiction?

By Shawn Dwyer 03/05/14

Having twice been suspended for failing drug tests, Jonathan Singleton has shown up to spring training clean and ready to play ball.

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Jonathan Singleton, widely considered to be the top first baseman prospect in all of Major League Baseball, has opened up about his past struggles with addiction. But instead of detailing his battles with painkillers or some harder substance, Singleton described struggling with an addiction to weed.

"I know that I enjoy smoking weed, I enjoy being high and I can't block that out of my mind that I enjoy that," Singleton said. "At this point it's pretty evident to me that I'm a drug addict.”

Singleton discussed his substance abuse with the press in the dugout of the Astros' spring training ballpark in Kissimmee, FL. Originally signed by the Philadelphia Phillies, Singleton was traded to the Astros in 2011 and first tested positive for marijuana in June 2012. Just six months later, in December 2012, he tested positive for a second time while playing in the Arizona Fall League and received a 50-game suspension. But even then he was unable to stop.

"I knew I had a problem," Singleton said. "Even after I failed the second drug test I couldn't stop smoking weed. It was really bad."

Singleton eventually realized that he had a problem and checked into a 30-day treatment facility for inpatient care. "They would turn off the lights at 11:30 and I would just sit there and stare at the ceiling because I couldn't go to sleep," he said. "My heart was beating too fast. I would get night sweats. It was bad. I legitimately went through withdrawal."

Even though he managed to kick weed, Singleton’s problem only grew worse when he substituted pot with alcohol. "I went through some slight anxiety, some depression because I wasn't being successful," he said. "That was definitely difficult and that drove me to drink."

After drinking virtually every day and “waking up hung over every morning,” Singleton got his act together once again and prepared himself to earn a major league spot on the 2014 Houston Astros roster while maintaining his sobriety. 

"Recently I've been more or less just sticking to myself and worrying about what I need to do to get better and become better as a person, not just a baseball player," he said.

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Shawn Dwyer is a writer, editor and content producer living in Los Angeles. You can find him on Linkedin.