Lamar Odom says this kept him from relapsing when Kobe Bryant died
Lamar Odom opened up this week about how he has used the drug ketamine to help fight addiction, and the former NBA star’s doctor was happy to see Odom share his story.
During an appearance on “Good Morning America” Monday, Odom explained how he has been receiving small doses of ketamine under supervision for the past two years. The 41-year-old said the treatments have helped him avoid abusing drugs the way he did when he nearly died of an overdose in 2015.
“I went to rehab and did some other things, but ketamine came into my life at the right time,” Odom said. “I’m feeling amazing. I’m alive, I’m sober, I’m happy.”
Odom credited his ketamine treatments with keeping him from relapsing when Kobe Bryant died early last year.
“I don’t wake up looking to do lines … or feeling unfulfilled,” he said. “When Kobe passed away, you know, the old Lamar, that’d have been every excuse in the world for me to go get high, (but) doing drugs didn’t even enter my mind.”
Ketamine is an anesthetic that is used by both medical professionals and veterinarians. It has been abused by people and is often referred to as a “club drug.” The doctor who administers it to Odom, Dr. Steven L. Mandel, explained in an interview with Page Six that the drug can help people who suffer from depression, PTSD and suicidal thoughts.
Mendel, who owns Ketamine Clinics Los Angeles, is very pleased that Odom has decided to share his experience. He hopes Odom’s story and others like it will help end that stigma and show people the benefits of using ketamine responsibly under the supervision of a medical professional.
“To have a prominent person call people’s attention to this, it’s a thrill,” Mandel said. “It’s amazing. So I’m very grateful and thousands of people will benefit from his honesty and his candor.”
Odom and Bryant were close from when they were teammates with the Los Angeles Lakers. Odom considered Bryant a mentor and leaned on him heavily for guidance and support. Not long after Kobe died in a helicopter crash, Odom said he wished Bryant was still around to help him with an issue that led to fan backlash.