I know many people who have no sympathy for drug addicts. They seem them as defenseless criminals; as people who choose not to control their lives because they love the high too much. It’s a conscious choice, they believe, made by bad people.

I counter with Dwight Gooden.

For those who have yet to heard, Gooden was arrested yet again on Tuesday, when he was involved in a car accident in Franklin Lakes, N.J. Gooden was apparently driving while under the influence, with his 5-year-old son in the back seat. He was arrested after leaving the scene, and was released on his own recognizance until a municipal court hearing.

I hate the story of Dwight Gooden, because I love Dwight Gooden. I believe him to be a good person haunted and corrupted by the voodoo-like powers of alcohol and cocaine. He wants to stay clean; needs to stay clean. But he just can’t, and will probably wind up in jail yet again.


4 thoughts on “Addiction”

  1. I’d like to hear more about this good side of him. I was a huge fan of his growing up and know little else about him than he was a great pitcher who was brought down by those addictions. As a kid you want to believe your heroes are good people. I didn’t know if he was good or bad, and being raised conservative Christian, I, naturally, learned that alcohol and drugs are bad; ergo, Gooden was bad. I never read much about him to convince me otherwise. Maybe I missed a story or profile somewhere?

  2. Certainly addiction is a problem and difficult to beat.
    But not impossible.
    If anything should give a person motivation it is a child.
    If you really love your child, you WILL find a way to quit.

    When I had children I made a decision to never be in a position where I couldn’t respond to an emergency.
    There were a couple times when I allowed myself to drink more than I should if I knew someone, such as my parents, had the kids for the night.
    Other than that I had a 2 drink max.
    Even today with my youngest on her own at 20, I still watch what I drink. I can respond, if necessary, to any circumstance.

    When you have a child under your care you have a responsibility to be able to care for that child.
    I am not as disappointed with Gooden using as I am his being under the influence with a child in his care.
    You have to be able to recognize when you have used you aren’t able to watch the child.

  3. The saga that is Dwight Gooden is among the saddest. I rarely feel sorry for athletes, after all most of them live charmed lives that many of us only dream about, but yet there was just something about Doc that was so likable. Even after his run-ins with drugs. Even after he went AWOL after ’86. I don’t know why I was surprised when this story broke, but I was. He lives in my community, and I too work in the media and have been around him at a distance. It seemed he finally had his life in order, perhaps that is why…
    For a short period of time Dwight Gooden threw a baseball more beautifully than any man I ever saw, and as a baseball fan it was something I will never forget. And someone bestowed with such greatness should never be so flawed. But he is, and that to me is very sad. Doc, there’s still time to get it together, I hope you do.

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