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Lamar Odom Fighting For His Life Amidst Long History Of Drug Addiction

Former NBA basketball player Lamar Odom was found unconscious Tuesday night at a brothel outside of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Cocaine as well as other herbal supplements were found in his system. Plans to fly Odom to Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas were abandoned when they were unable to fit his large frame into a rescue helicopter. Celebrity tabloid website TMZ is reporting that track marks were seen on Odom’s skin when hospitalized. Odom was formerly in recovery for a drug addiction that ultimately led to his divorce from reality TV star Khloe Kardashian.

It’s no secret that the two-time NBA champion had a rough upbringing and painful past.

His often absent father, Joe Odom, was a heroin addict for most of Lamar’s life. Their relationship is turbulent, even to this day. Lamar Odom lost his mother at the age of 12 to colon cancer. Afterward, he was forced to spend time at three high schools during his teenage years, a time when teens need all of the stability they can get. Not long after committing to play basketball at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Odom was ruled ineligible for accepting a sum of money in access of $5k. He then transferred to the University of Rhode Island where he would only stay for one year before declaring for the 1999 NBA draft.

Within two years of being drafted into the NBA by the Los Angeles Clippers, Lamar was suspended twice for violating the NBA’s substance abuse policy.

Many speculate that he was suspended for marijuana usage although he nor the NBA have ever commented on the matter publicly. In 2006, while playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, Lamar lost his third child and infant son Jayden to SIDS. He was incredibly distraught as any parent would be.

Lamar Odom never married the mother of his children and longtime girlfriend Liza Morales. He did find love and stability, however, in Khloe Kardashian. The two wed in September of 2009. The wedding was featured on E!’s “Keeping up with the Kardashian’s”, a show that Lamar often made cameo appearances on. It wasn’t long before E! would air a spinoff featuring the couple and his children titled “Khloe and Lamar.” The show aired in 2011. That same year, Lamar’s 24 year old cousin was murdered in New York City. Three days after the funeral, Lamar was a passenger in an accident that killed a 15 year old boy on a motorcycle in Queens, New York. Odom was quoted by various news sources regarding the events saying, “I think the effects of seeing my cousin die and then watching this kid die, really beat me down. I considered myself weak and I was breaking down mentally.”

The misfortune and disappointment for Lamar didn’t stop there. In August of 2013, he was arrested for DUI in Los Angeles and sentenced to three years of probation and three months of alcohol abuse treatments. After successfully completing his treatments, the addiction to crack cocaine rumors began to circulate. The rumors seemed all but solidified when Khloe Kardashian forced him into rehab while filing for divorce from him in December of 2013. Through all of this, Lamar was still trying to revive his basketball career and had the opportunity to play for his hometown New York Knicks in April of 2014 before being cut by the team in July 2014.

His divorce wasn’t finalized until 2015 and once again, the grief didn’t stop there. Two of Lamar Odom’s close friends, Jamie Sangouthai and Bobby Heyward, both passed away from drug related incidents in the summer of 2015, one from a complication stemming from shared needle usage, the other from an overdose.

Which brings us to the present.

Odom has lost virtually everything including his friends, wife, career, assets and multi-million dollar income. He has no identity, as he feels. Not only does he have his father’s genes, which could help fuel his addiction, but his scars and past experiences make drugs and alcohol an attractive escape. We’re all praying that he is able to recover in the hospital and that it’s not too late.

With the right support system and treatment, Lamar could turn his life around and be living proof that others suffering from addiction can make the same changes.