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Addiction Teamwork in the NFL

Addiction Teamwork in the NFL

Jul 23, 2018 | Addiction, Recovery

In January of 2018, Austin Seferian-Jenkins celebrated one year of sobriety. This NFL player, who is tight end for the Jacksonville Jaguars, had enough of the consequences he faced with alcoholism and started to make changes in his life to represent 365 days free from alcohol. In 2013, Seferian-Jenkins received a DUI which caused him to be suspended for one game when he was playing football during his college years. In 2016, he was released from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after he was cited for his second DUI. In 2017, he was again suspended for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse while playing for the New York Jets.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins finally took some action to help him get sober because he realized how much it was affecting not only his personal life, but also his career. If he continued to go down the path his alcoholism was taking him, he knew that he would no longer have the privilege of playing football in the NFL. Deciding to quit cold-turkey, Seferian-Jenkins attended an intensive outpatient program that included extensive therapy which was instrumental in helping him sort out the personal issues he tried to forget when he was drinking.

Since being sober, Seferian-Jenkins has tried to help others who have the same problems with alcohol that he has endured. His former New York Jets teammate, Dylan Donahue, has experienced his own troubles in the offseason from drinking alcohol. Donahue was arrested for DUI when he drove the wrong way down the Lincoln Tunnel and then meet head-on with a bus that caused injury to four passengers. This was Donahue’s second DUI in a year and Seferian-Jenkins knew that he could use a friend who had been through the same situation.

Donahue attended a 30-day treatment program and has stated to CBS Sports that Seferian-Jenkins played a role in getting help for his alcohol abuse. “We were connected. He had nothing but good things to say and helpful things to say. He actually helped a lot. Seeing someone else do it especially someone on the same team as you, definitely built my confidence.”

Seferian-Jenkins did more than just see Donahue as another football player. He has also expressed what a great guy Donahue was off the field. “Forget about the football stuff. He’s just a really good person. You would hate to see such a good person go down a road that I’ve been down and begin to tumble. But I believe in Dylan. I know that he can do those things. That’s what I told him: I really do believe in you. All that other football stuff will come if you progress as a man.”

The NFL is based on teamwork and so is recovery from addiction. The foundation of recovery is one person talking to another with a message of hope. In that capacity, Austin Seferian-Jenkins certainly made a touchdown by passing the message of recovery onto Dylan Donahue.

Serenity Oaks Wellness Center is a 5-week extensive program that can help someone who abuses drugs and alcohol to become sober. Our 12-Step aspects and holistic therapy combined can show our clients how to adorn their soul in recovery.

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