Video: NFL QB Talks About 800 Pill a Month Habit

By McCarton Ackerman 05/04/12

Former Jets' and Dolphins' Ray Lucas wants to share his experiences and recovery from addiction.

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Ray Lucas wants to help others tackle their
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For Ray Lucas, what started as taking pain pills for his NFL career became an 800 pill-a-month habit once his time on the team ended. The former NFL quarterback, who played from 1996-2003 with the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins, said that it wasn't until his football days ended that his prescription drug problem got out of control. "When I left the NFL, I wasn't so much addicted, but had a very high tolerance," he says. "Fast forward to three years ago with some serious neck problems, I was taking the medication again, about 120 pills a month. That went up to about 420 and ended at 800 pills a month before I had neck surgery. I had a successful surgery, but knew I had to go to rehab to get better. I went into rehab for 42 days and have been clean and sober ever since." But instead of making him feel better, Lucas says the pain medication made him depressed and ultimately left him contemplating suicide. "I actually had the day set that I was going to kill myself," recalls Lucas. "You feel soft and ashamed and can't even look yourself in the mirror." These days, Lucas is a studio analyst for the show Jets Nation on NYC-based sports network SportsNet New York and gives talks about his experiences. "Now that I've received my gift of recovery, I speak personally about it without any qualms," he says. "I'm a survivor. I've made it, which means that so can you."

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.