Keith McCants reflects on football career, how it led to addiction, and his road to recovery

Birmingham, AL (WIAT)-Keith McCants built his dream of playing professional football at the University of Alabama. The All-American linebacker was drafted fourth overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1990. He also played for the Arizona Cardinals and the Detroit Lions all while battling a severe leg injury that later led to his prescription pain pill addiction.

“I played six years in the league on one leg which caused me to become addicted to drugs. I made too much money for them to put me on the sideline. The National Football League, when you step out there it’s a business. I’ve got nothing against them but that’s what it is. At Alabama or any college, you play for the love of the game, the tradition of the game, and you play with all your heart. But when you play for money and you become part of their property, and some of the things they do, we don’t pay you “x” amount of dollars to sit on the bench. For those people out there that don’t know, it’s one thing to get to the NFL, it’s a whole other thing to stay there. I never knew, I was just the kid who loved the game of football, and plus I loved the paychecks as well. They came and told me I was an addict and released me. I didn’t know what that was. It plagued my body. I ended up going to jail. I ended up doing things I wouldn’t normally do. I tried to commit suicide a few times, lost the will to live, had a nervous breakdown, lost millions of dollars, lived in the streets, ate out of a garbage can. I was like the homeless. I forgot who Keith McCants was.”

After going through several rehab programs over the course of several years, Keith McCants found a treatment facility in Central Florida called Reawakenings Wellness Center. Now sober, he currently works at Reawakenings while sharing his testimony across the country about the dangers of drug addiction and how it has impacted his life. His goal is to educate athletes as well as the community about substance abuse while providing hope to those in active addiction and seeking recovery.

McCants has also teamed up with Reawakenings Wellness Center to provide $100,000 in scholarships to anyone in the state of Alabama who suffers from addiction and wants to get treatment.

For more information about Reawakenings Wellness Center visit http://reawakeningwellness.com/ or call (855) 925-3669.

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