Ray Lucas: Giving Back the Gift of Hope

Ray Lucas is an NFL veteran who played for the Jets, Ravens, Dolphins and Patriots. In ’03, physical injuries ended his impressive 7-year career – an event that heightened his already high tolerance to painkillers and depression meds and resulted in full-blown addiction. Eventually Ray was taking more than 100 pills and 19 different medications per month, a mix of OxyContin, Percocets, Roxys and others. He was losing his family and was on the brink of suicide.

Today, Ray Lucas has been clean and sober for nearly two years. He’s a wonderful family man, a respected studio analyst for SportsNet New York and a spokesman for opiod addicts.

Ray Lucas is a prime example of Believable Hope.

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I’m a big advocate for the 12-Step program; it helped me, and countless others that I’ve in turn helped see through to recovery. Ray has spoken publically about his treatment experience, and how the 12-Step program didn’t work for him. “What worked for me, might not work for you. The fact that you’re trying to get help, that’s the biggest step in the world.” And he’s so right.

The driving factors for Ray were his wife (his “angel and rock”) and kids. “Being a father and husband,” he says. Plain and simple. His family, along with his experience at a residential rehabilitation facility, brought him back to life and gave him the Believable Hope he needed to “feel reborn.” And while I firmly believe the 12-Step program can lead one to lifelong sobriety… as long as you can find Believable Hope, hope that is real and leads to actual, positive change… you’re golden.

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During his time in rehab, Ray posted personal, raw accounts on his Facebook page. He described his daily experiences and opened up about his addiction. He was hesitant to do so at first, but soon realized his voice was helping others fighting similar battles find the hope they needed.

“When you receive the gift of sobriety, if you don’t give it back, you don’t get to keep it. It’s a sin not to share success stories, because a lot of people don’t think they can do it. I tell my story because I know there’s somebody out there like me, that is in the hole, in the deep depression, and he thinks there’s no way out. “

Athletes (and anyone active, for that matter) it is so important that you know the side effects and risks of any pain medication prescribed to you. If information isn’t given to you, ask. As Ray says, injuries are inevitable when your job or hobby requires you to be physical. Awareness and education is key. Ray is proof that addiction can take you to hell and back, but you have all the power in the world to reclaim your life, then help others find hope.

Source: The Fix

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