Jim Irsay, the owner of the Indianapolis Colts football team, is speaking out about his battle with prescription drug addiction. Irsay was arrested on charges of driving while intoxicated in March. According to the L.A. Times, a police affidavit states Irsay was on potent painkillers at the time.
In an interview with the Indianapolis Star, Irsay shared how he became addicted to prescription drugs after old injuries and several operations on his hip and back left him with chronic pain. He became dependent on pills and descended into addiction. He says his recovery is ongoing.
"These diseases, both alcoholism and addiction, much like bipolar or depression and different illnesses, are still not seen as real diseases," he told the Star. "People shy away from seeking help because it's viewed as being somewhat morally off the path, that they've lost their way. I really think the disease aspect gets lost when you're talking about alcoholism and addiction."
Irsay is right in saying that addiction is a disease, and he is also correct to link it to other mental health problems like depression and bipolar disorder. Too often addiction specialists fail to recognize the deep-seated connections between such conditions. Since Dr. M.K. (Khal) El-Yousef founded Fairwinds Treatment Center in 1989 he has been focused on treating patients' chemical dependencies along with their underlying psychological and emotional challenges.
Fairwinds helps patients address their substance abuse problems while also uncovering and treating conditions like depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder that may have never before been diagnosed. This proactive approach to recovery and mental health sets Fairwinds apart and sets up our patients to truly heal, from the inside out.