Oscar de la Hoya: Good Luck on your continuing struggle to beat Addiction!

Oscar de la Hoya will always be revered and remembered for his boxing skills.  He was a teenage phenomenon.  He was born in 1973 and won the National Golden Gloves title in the bantamweight division in 1990.  In the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Oscar defeated Cuban boxer Julio Gonzalez and won the gold medal over Marco Rudolph of Germany.  He had fulfilled his mother's dying wish of winning the gold medal and his nickname 'The Golden Boy' lasted throughout his professional career.

Oscar's pro career is the stuff that legends are made of.  He defeated 17 world champions and has won ten world titles in six different weight classes.  It was estimated that he generated an estimated $700 million dollars in pay per view income.  His memorable losses include those to Manny Pacquiao, Shane Moseley, Bernard Hopkins and Floyd Mayweather.  The one thing that I like about Oscar was that he fought everyone out their at their prime.  He was a warrior in the ring.

Oscar is now fighting a different battle.  He was unable to support Saul Alvarez in his recent bout against Floyd Mayweather because he had checked himself into drug rehab.  A few years ago many fans of Oscar were shocked when it was revealed that a woman he was involved with had taken pictures of him dressed in stockings and heels after a drug fueled encounter.  After initial denials, he admitted that he had a drug problem and eventually checked into rehab.

I am observing his life from afar but as a public figure and a very rich American citizen, I wonder why money didn't bring him happiness and contentment.  He recorded a Mexican language CD and formed Golden Boy entertainment to promote up and coming boxers.  Was it something internal that caused him to turn to drugs for satisfaction.  Maybe it could have been to mask the pain of boxing injuries.  also, it could have been because he has more disposable income than many of us would earn in a lifetime.

I am conducting assessments in South Philadelphia now as part of a Coalition that will address alcohol, marijuana and tobacco use among minors.  These are sometimes referred to as gateway drugs.  Using them could lead to harder substances such as cocaine, heroin or ecstasy.  An Electric Zoo concert was recently cancelled in New York because of two deaths due to suspected use of the drug Molly.  This drug is popularized in song by Miley Cyrus and other artists.  It is akin to rap artists waxing nostalgic on the use of purple drank.  Little Wayne had a few seizures that could be attributed to an addiction to purple drank.

Oscar de la Hoya is a father to five children.  His current resources will afford him better care than most addicts trying to recover from addiction demons.  Alcoholism and addiction are indeed diseases that have derailed many lives.  People who have lost their lives to these afflictions once functioned as normal human beings.  Any of us who have ever been under the influence wishes we could become better at dealing with the reality of life.  I wish Oscar de la Hoya the strength to compete and win against his addiction to drugs.  His fame and fortune did not shield him from a struggle that millions of ordinary Americans face.

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