Ex-Baseball Star Jeff Allison Tells Westford Academy Students About His Addiction

Former professional baseball pitcher and first-round draft pick for the Florida Marlins, Jeff Allison watched all his fame and fortune dwindle away due to drug addiction. The man who at one time received a $1.85 million signing bonus found himself no longer in the major leagues and stealing cars in an attempt to buy more drugs. He even sank so low that he held a knife to someone’s throat during a robbery – just one of many stories that Allison shared with a packed auditorium at Westford Academy.

His downfall, according to Allison, started long before he was scouted or drafted by major league baseball. Allison explained to the students that he thought his lifelong drug addiction started the first time he tried marijuana in high school. No one paid attention to his problem; he had phenomenal skills on the baseball mound with a 95-mph fastball by the age of 17 and college scouts descending on him from around the country – people looked the other way.

Low Self-Esteem Fueled Allison’s Drug Addiction

Despite all the positive attention from his baseball abilities, Allison claims he was still extremely sad. He says he started using drugs simply to fit in and to look cool. Two pictures of Allison in his high school days were projected on a screen in the auditorium. Allison looked to the photos and said: “I was so unbelievably unhappy at that point. I find it a little ironic.”

By the time he signed his major league baseball contract, he was well aware of his addiction. He told the students he knew he was an addict but needed to keep it a secret.

Allison Demoted to Minor Leagues After Testing Positive for Marijuana

With so much money at his disposal, Allison’s drug use increased exponentially. At his worst, he spent more than $25,000 on drugs in two months. After starting with marijuana, his drug use continued with:

After failing a drug test, the Marlins restructured his contract, sending him down to the minors until he could get himself together. But instead of getting clean, Allison told the students that his drug problems spun out of control. He ended up with criminal charges, including theft and robbery, ultimately experiencing overdose, homelessness, time in prison – and stints in rehab – until he finally got clean and sober for good on December 4, 2006, a date he has tattooed on his body.

Allison tried his best to impress upon the students all the negative potential of drugs: “It doesn’t matter who you are, it doesn’t matter how much money you have. It doesn’t matter how good you are at a sport. It doesn’t matter who your father is. It will break you in half.”

When celebrities share their stories of addiction – and more importantly, their stories of overcoming that addiction – it can be inspiring, especially to young people. Is a young person you love struggling with drug and alcohol abuse? Inspire them to get the drug addiction treatment they need to heal; call us today to learn about the different rehab programs we offer here at Axis.