Former major leaguer Aubrey Huff spoke with Buster Olney of ESPN earlier this week and revealed that he was addicted to Adderall in the later stages of his career and that, in 2014, he contemplated suicide. Indeed, at one point he was holding a gun to his head, ready to pull the trigger.
Huff’s conversation with Olney can be heard on Olney’s podcast from Wednesday. In it Huff says that he started taking Adderall in 2009, when one of his Baltimore Orioles teammates gave him some to deal with a hangover (Huff said he was drinking every day back then). He soon became hooked and could not play without it. Adderall, of course, is a banned substance in Major League Baseball as it’s a stimulant. Many players use if via therapeutic exemptions for attention deficit disorder. Indeed, a larger percentage of players get such exemptions for it than the rate of ADD occurrence in adults in the population at large, leading many to suspect that some are getting the drug specifically to enhance performance. Huff:
“I went through that whole 2010 playing under the influence . . . I think in a lot of ways, Adderall is more potent than any steroid you can take because, as you know, baseball is a game of mental toughness, and Adderall gets into your head and makes you feel invincible.”
Huff described a depression which set in after that season, when he was coming down off the drug, not needing it while not on the playing field. And, indeed, he has been off the drug since 2012. But he has still dealt with anxiety and depression. And has endured at least one strikingly harrowing episode:
“In 2014, I found myself in my closet, on my knees, with a .357 Magnum, hammer pulled back, staring at myself in the mirror,” he told Olney when asked what his low point with addiction was. ” . . . I was ready to pull the trigger. This was a low-low point in my life. I had hit rock bottom at that moment.”
Huff also talks about a gambling addiction he suffered during this time.
Huff says he’s dealing with all of that much better now and feels healthier than he has in years. That’s good to hear. But it’s certainly scary to hear what he’s been through. One hopes those bad days are behind him.