The top first-base prospect in baseball, Jonathan Singleton, says he is a drug addict. The 22-year old made the startling admission in an article released today by Kristie Rieken of the Associated Press.
Singleton served a 50-game suspension at the beginning of last season after testing positive for marijuana for a second time. Jon says he became addicted after smoking weed off and on since the age of 14 and that he enjoyed the feeling that it gave him. Growing up in Long Beach California, weed was so readily available that most of the local teenagers were at least experimenting.
Singleton says he came to the realization that he was an addict and needed to do something about it. A 30-day stint in rehab helped him to kick the habit but Singleton soon found himself substituting alcohol for the weed. Addiction is a slippery slope and any 12-stepper will tell you that substituting one vice for another isn’t the solution.
I think it is great that Singleton has come to the realization that he has a problem and he is willing to admit it. Rarely do you see such a young person who is so successful make such an admission. But the admission is only the first step — it’s what type of action the addict takes that will determine his future.
Many times, an addict will hit rock bottom before figuring things out. Given Singleton’s lack of any type of support group or program to stay clean, chances are he hasn’t bottomed out yet. Sure, the Astros were quick to release a statement and voice their support for Singleton, but, again, talk is cheap. It’s action that counts.
It is extremely rare for an addict to beat addiction on his own. Putting down the drug is only the first step. Addicts must learn to make behavioral changes.
Using Josh Hamilton as an example, we already know that addiction is a powerful adversary. Seemingly on top of the world and with a support system in place, Hamilton has admitted to a pair of relapses over the last five years.
Any addict will tell you that “recovery” is a lifelong process. Let’s hope that young Mr. Singleton is ready for the battle. We’re all rooting for him.