Josh Hamilton’s drug addiction has been well documented since it began in 2001 with his first trip to rehab and continued in 2003 with multiple failed drug tests. After multiple stints in rehab and a three-year suspension, Hamilton had relapses in 2009 and 2012 that involved alcohol.
His most recent relapse, which surfaced Wednesday, involved cocaine.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Hamilton Admitted the Drug Use to the MLB
Hamilton admitted that he relapsed, and that the relapse involved cocaine use, to the MLB, according to Sports Illustrated.
Since he admitted to it instead of falling a drug test, he will be placed into the MLB’s drug program as a first time offender, according to Jon Heyman. The move was decided at a hearing in New York on Wednesday.
Since he is being treated as a first time offender, he may not face a suspension.
2. Hamilton’s First Report of Abuse Came After a Car Accident
Hamilton and his mother were both injured in a car accident in 2001, shortly after he was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, according to CBN.com. Because of that and injuries from baseball, Hamilton was home alone a lot, nursing himself back to health.
The article says that Hamilton’s sudden fortune prompted him to hang with the wrong crowd. Hamilton said curiosity led to the drug use.
I had my first drink of alcohol and did my first line of cocaine in the same night. I can’t say why I did it, other than just curious about both of them. When I first got into drinking and using drugs, it was because of where I was hanging out, it was whom I was hanging out with. You might not do it at first, but eventually, if you keep hanging around long enough, you’re going to start doing what they’re doing.
3. He Was Suspended From 2003-2005 Because of Substance Abuse
Hamilton was suspended for three years, from 2003-2005, because of the cocaine and alcohol addictions that stemmed from 2001 car accident.
As part of his reinstatement, Hamilton was ordered to three weekly drug tests and to be accompanied by an “accountability partner,” someone who would help him stay away from drugs and alcohol, according to the New York Daily News.
4. His 2009 and 2012 Relapses Weren’t Against MLB Policy
Because his relapses in 2009 and 2012 involved alcohol instead of illegal substances, he was not disciplined by the league for them.
According to ABC, the 2012 relapse was part of a “weak moment” during dinner at a Dallas restaurant.
It was just wrong. That’s what it comes down to. I needed to be responsible at that moment. … I cannot take a break from my recovery. My recovery is an everyday process.
5. Hamilton Was Expected to be Out 6-8 Weeks After Surgery
Hamilton had surgery to repair the AC joint in his right shoulder in the beginning of February. The average recovery time for it is 6-8, delaying his start to the season.
The surgery involved shaving down the bone in an attempt to alleviate arthritis pain, according to CBS.
He was expected to begin baseball activity in a minimum of three weeks after the surgery.