Houston Astros prospect admits marijuana addiction, rehab

  • David Whitlock

Most of us hear “drug addiction” and think something like crack, cocaine, or speed.  Or simply alcoholism.  It’s not often that an individual admits an addiction to marijuana.  To be honest, it’s become so commonplace among those in their teens and early 20’s, it’s hard to characterize the fine line between addiction and enjoyment.  Houston Astros top prospect 1B Jonathan Singleton, a key cog in the Hunter Pence trade between the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies of a few years ago, was forthright to Kristie Rieken of the Associated Press (via the Houston Chronicle):

“At this point it’s pretty evident to me that I’m a drug addict,” Singleton told The Associated Press over breakfast on a recent day near the Astros’ camp. “I don’t openly tell everyone that, but it’s pretty apparent to myself.  I know that I enjoy smoking weed, I enjoy being high and I can’t block that out of my mind that I enjoy that, so I have to work against that.”


Jonathan Singleton hopes his drug issues are a thing of the past.
Credit: AP/Alex Brandon

Singleton failed his second drug test prior to the 2013 season and received a 50-game suspension.  It probably cost him enough development time that he didn’t get the late season call to join the hapless Astros in September.  I applaud the 22-year-old’s honesty, he even has a month-long stay at a rehab facility behind him to help the addiction.  Astros manager Bo Porter helped him get help (via the same article):

The 50-game suspension came a month later and he was summoned to Houston to meet with manager Bo Porter and to see a therapist, who evaluated him for addiction. It was evident to him that he needed help.  “I knew I had a problem,” he said. “Even after I failed the second drug test I couldn’t stop smoking weed. It was really bad. Me going there was definitely the best move.”

He didn’t feel that way when he first entered. Fearing the unknown, he says he didn’t sleep for three days straight.

“They would turn off the lights at 11:30 and I would just sit there and stare at the ceiling because I couldn’t go to sleep,” he said. “My heart was beating too fast. I would get night sweats. It was bad. I legitimately went through withdrawal.”

If America doesn’t realize it might have a marijuana problem with its youth (now legal in some areas), the hear this testimony from Singleton (via Rieken)

Though just 21 when he entered rehab, he’d already had a long history with marijuana, using the drug “on and off” since 14. He blamed his start on the culture growing up in Long Beach, Calif., where he estimated 80 percent of his friends not only knew where to get marijuana, but also how to get it within an hour.

Singleton is projected to compete for a major league job, but will likely be a mid-season call up.  Let’s hope he’s on the straight and narrow, it would be a shame to see his baseball career derailed by an addiction such as this.  Even if his baseball career doesn’t pan out, maybe baseball helped him get past something that might have contributed otherwise to a life less than desired.

– David Whitlock

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David Whitlock

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David (a.k.a. Longhorndave or lhd_on_sports) joined the staff late in the 2012 season and moved to Site Manager in early 2013. A lifelong Houston Astros fan (and mini-season ticket holder for 9 years) he attends 20+ games per year. A statistics freak, David still keeps score the "old fashioned way" on occasion (and has kept manual score of World Series games since 1986 and retains the sheets). He was a featured guest weekly on the Phil Naessens Show. He is also a Texas Longhorns alumnus and huge football and baseball fan of his alma mater. When he isn't watching or writing about baseball, he works as a contractor at NASA Johnson Space Center. He lives by the mantra "a bad day at the ballpark is better than a good day anywhere else."

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