Robert Plotkin – Vice President of Operations at Pyramid Online Counseling – is joined by 10-year NFL veteran, Pro Bowler and substance use speaker Randy Grimes, who outlines everything it took to reach a point of surrender. In an NFL era where trainers and doctors freely distributed narcotics and opioids, to help athletes stay on the field by any means necessary, Grimes felt the full effects of sustained addiction after he left the league.
For 20 years after he played his last down in the NFL, Randy Grimes struggled against opioid addiction practices that eventually resulted in the loss of his home, his car, his furniture, and his identity. It took the death of a close friend and league colleague to force Grimes to re-evaluate his life decisions, where an intervention was finally enough to make Grimes “raise his hand” and ask for help.
Grimes recalls his initial distaste for sobriety, his eventual love for newfound freedom, and his work with Pro Athletes in Recovery – an organization he founded specifically to tackle substance abuse and mental health stigmas and address challenging topics that include disorders, pain management, mental health, suicide prevention and the search for self-confidence and purpose.
A Baylor graduate, 10-year NFL veteran and now a motivational speaker, Randy Grimes transformed a personal opioid addiction into a platform for national substance use advocacy. His dedication to ending stigma around mental illness and addiction led to the foundation of Pro Athletes in Recovery – an organization that pairs athletes like him with resources to overcome substance abuse – tools he never had during his playing days.
Prescription pill consumption practices during a successful career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers threatened a happy life with his wife and two children, as chronic substance use led to blackouts and an uncontrollable opioid addiction. Substance use habits continued a full 20 years after his career subsided; it wasn’t until addiction led to the death of a close friend that Grimes sought the help he knew he needed to save his own life.
His newly released book, OFF CENTERx, chronicles a path of self-destruction and redemption characterized by success on the field as substance use took its toll on a tired body. Today, Randy is frequently accompanied by his wife Lydia – a Certified Family Addiction Coach – at speaking engagements, where he addresses issues that include substance abuse, mental health, pain management, suicide, trauma, PTSD and more.
“I was a college All-American, I married my sweetheart…I got two great kids…I was a second-round draft pick, I was a Pro Bowler…and here I am lying on the floor of a vacant house with no utilities – for nearly a month – and that’s what it took for me to raise my hand. … I thought I was the only one out there who had gotten myself in that situation, and I didn’t know how to get out of it.”
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