Former WWE Champ Kurt Angle Says His Recovery App Can Save Lamar Odom

By McCarton Ackerman 12/19/16

Angle says his upcoming recovery app is a great tool for people in early recovery like Odom. 

Kurt Angle

Former Olympic gold medalist and WWE champion Kurt Angle believes his new recovery app could be what Lamar Odom needs to maintain sobriety.

The wrestler describes his new app, AngleStrong, which will be released on Jan. 15, as "addiction recovery aftercare," something he says is lacking once people get out of rehab. Angle has been sober for over three years now after a severe painkiller addiction, and says the accountability that the app requires is essential for people early in recovery like the retired basketball star.

Odom, who played with the Los Angeles Lakers and became tabloid fodder for his relationship with reality TV star Khloe Kardashian, entered rehab this month to help him stay on track in his recovery. Angle took the opportunity to speak with TMZ about how AngleStrong could help Odom.

“I know that Lamar has checked into rehab and I’m sure he’s taken steps for a little while, then he probably got off track. This app keeps you on track. It’s not that easy to go seek help and get counseling, especially if you work every day,” the wrestler told TMZ Sports. “There are some people that might not even have to go to rehab. I highly recommend rehab, it’s the best thing I ever did in my life, but this app can do a lot of things to make it easier. Today people want efficiency. They want things right at their fingertips.”

AngleStrong will cost users $1 per day. The app aims to reduce the risk of relapse by increasing patient compliance with specified protocols via goal setting, communication tools, reports and surveys. AngleStrong users are required to check in daily, and their family members or loved ones are also expected to play their part.

“We want the families to join the app too because studies have shown that recovering addicts relapse or overdose, or both, when they’re isolated,” said Angle. “You have to check into this app every day. If you don't check in, your family's notified. So at least your family knows, without being overbearing, how you're doing.”

Angle’s addiction began in 2003 after being prescribed painkillers for a neck injury from his wrestling days. His drug use quickly spiraled and he was taking 65 extra-strength Vicodin per day at his worst. After leaving the WWE and eventually moving to rival company TNA, he found it difficult to stay on the wagon because most of his fellow wrestlers drank alcohol. Angle went on to receive four DUIs in a five-year span.

The wrestling champ finally went entered rehab in 2013 after his last DUI, where he said he "finally got the right help." With the support of his family, Angle remains sober since leaving treatment and has made it his mission to help others do the same.

“I find the inspiration to win every day from my family,” he told Sports Illustrated in June. “For so long, people have kept their addiction quiet. People are embarrassed about it … I did that for a little while, and I realized that it’s not helping anybody. There are people out there who will never go to rehab and will most likely end up dead. I want to help those people.”

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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.