While many of us were out enjoying our father’s day, wherever we may be, Ray Lucas was recanting a dark time in his life. The former New York Jets quarterback stood before his church body speaking about his addiction to painkillers. Former Giant Roman Oben shared the stage with Lucas, acting as an interviewer; allowing him to share these deeply personal moments.
After being cut by the Baltimore Ravens in 2003, Lucas was unable to overcome the physical pain caused from an NFL career and fell into an addiction to pain killers. Battling depression and suicidal thoughts, he reached out to ‘Pain Alternative, Solutions & Treatments’ in New Jersey. The center took on his case and performed neck surgery to help alleviate some of his pain. Lucas, currently an analyst for SportsNet New York, then spent 42 days rehabilitating in Florida.
“It’s 10 times harder than I thought it was going to be,” he said afterward, discussing life after in-patient rehab. “Addiction is a cunning disease. Your mind is always trying to play tricks on you. On days I’m in pain, my brain will say, ‘You’ve been clean for so long, all you have to do is take a couple, you don’t need 500.’ I have to realize I don’t need anything.”
While addiction is a disease that can rear its head at any time, today was a time for Lucas to reflect back on these moments and hopefully move others to fight those demons inside. Happy father’s day and best wishes, Ray Lucas.
(Cap tip to ESPN NY for this story)