Lamar Odom has had a long history struggling with substance abuse, starting with his estranged father’s heroin addiction. Odom was found unconscious at the Love Ranch South brothel near Las Vegas last Tuesday. Sources said he may have had “every drug imaginable” in his system, according to E Online. On Friday, he regained consciousness and said “hi” to Khloe, but his condition still remains guarded, the LA Times reported. He’s been transferred to a Los Angeles hospital.
Odom’s history with drugs has been long and torturous and played a role in the demise of his marriage to Khloe Kardashian. The Nye County Sheriff’s Office released 911 tapes (listen to them here). The callers, employees at the Love Ranch, tell dispatchers that Odom used cocaine on Saturday, three days before he was found unresponsive, and had taken 10 tabs of a herbal sexual performance enhancer, a Viagra substitute, over three days.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Odom’s Father Was a Heroin Addict And It Impacted Odom Deeply
Odom’s estranged father was a heroin addict and Odom talked about it on Khloe & Lamar, the spinoff to Keeping Up With the Kardashians, ET reported. Odom’s father would often call his son for money or tickets. But Odom wanted to rise up from that difficult background and be an inspiration to others. In September 2013, he tweeted about his father, saying that the man didn’t raise him, he was a snake, and the Kardashians were the only ones who had been there consistently for him, The Huffington Post reported. Odom’s mother had been a source of strength in his life, but she died of colon cancer when he was just 12, The Daily Mail reported. His grandmother raised him after her death because his dad wasn’t around, and she died in 2004.
2. Odom Has Struggled With Drugs For Years While Also Dealing With Many Tragedies
Odom has struggled for years with drug addiction. Sources close to Odom told ET online that he wasn’t a bad person, but he struggled with demons. The sources said:
When Lamar is good, he’s good. But when he’s bad, there’s no way of getting any worse.”
A source told Radar Online that Odom checked himself into rehab in August 2012, with encouragement from the Kardashians. But he’s still been struggling, despite the rehab attempts. In 2013, he was arrested for a DUI, The Huffington Post reported. In September 2013, TMZ reported that he was holed up in a private home with two women and crack cocaine.
All this happened while Odom also dealt with personal tragedies, The Daily Mail reported. His son Jayden died of sudden infant death syndrome in 2006. In 2011, his cousin was murdered in New York. Three days later, Odom was riding in an SUV when the driver lost control and hit a pedestrian, 15-year-old Awsaf Alvi Islam, who later died. Odom said, “Death always seems to be around me.” He said all those deaths were beating him down.
3. His Best Friend Recently Died From a Drug-Related Complication
Odom’s best friend, Jamie Sangouthai, died from complications related to a drug overdose in June 2015. Sangouthaidied after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria from a dirty needle. The lifelong friends were very close and Sangouthai was often on Khloe & Lamar, where Odom gave him a home down the hall from him. In the above clip from Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Khloe is shown giving support to Odom after he found out that his friend died. She was worried about him and wanted to stay in contact, afraid he would spiral after his friend’s death.
One week later, Bobby Heyward, who was friends with Odom, also died from an overdose. The two tragedies were very tough on Odom and friends and family urged him to seek help, Radar Online reported.
4. His Career Plummeted From His Drug Use
Odom struggled with drug use throughout his career as an NBA basketball player. In 2001, he was suspended from the Los Angeles Clippers after testing positive for marijuana, Radar Online reported. He was tested again in 2013, but that test only showed Oxycontin in his system, for which he had a prescription. However, teammates still tried to hold an intervention for him later that year and he rejected their attempts. Radar Online has indicated that particular intervention may have been for a new addiction to prescription drugs, Oxycontin and Ambien. Odom was ultimately dropped from the LA Clippers in 2013 after his performance suffered, possibly from his drug use, The Daily Mail reported.
5. Drug Use and Infidelity Helped Tank His Marriage to Khloe Kardashian
Khloe Kardashian tried a long time to make her marriage to Odom work and even said she would still be with him if she could, ET reported. But she just couldn’t handle things anymore and the both signed divorce papers in July 2015, although she originally filed for divorce in 2013. Just a month before she filed for divorce, Odom rapped incoherently into a video about cheating on Khloe and using drugs, TMZ reported. After she first kicked him out of the mansion, Khloe hired people to help her search the house for any drugs he might have left, according to Radar Online. Despite everything, Khloe and her family say they still love Odom. She’s been by his side since he collapsed and was rushed to the hospital.