After an extended media silence following his DUI arrest, Michael Phelps is finally beginning to speak out about his experiences with addiction and rehab. The Olympic champion swimmer admitted to having an alcohol problem in December of last year after also pleading guilty to drunk driving.
He was sentenced to a year in prison but this sentence was suspended and he was put on probation for a year and a half. Following his arrest, Phelps spent 45 days in an inpatient treatment center and told the judge that he now had the tools to move past his problem.
The judge responded saying that recovery from alcohol addiction does not happen overnight. Phelps eventually announced on twitter that he would be entering a six week rehab program to get the help that he needed for his addiction. He has been drug and alcohol free since completing his time in rehab and plans to return to competitive swimming sometime this year.
Arrest for Drunk Driving and Rehab
At the time of Phelps arrest in Baltimore, he was driving 84 mph in a 40 mph zone and had a blood alcohol level of .14 which is nearly double the legal limit in the state. Phelps was suspended by USA Swimming from competition for six months and was also pulled from the Long Course World Championship Team.
Phelps has been arrested for his drunken behavior on other occasions but after his most recent arrest he seemed to have a different perspective and realized he had an addiction. He wrote that he was extremely disappointed in himself and needed to take time away from swimming to attend a rehab program that would allow him to better understand himself and focus attention on himself as an individual.
Phelps had been arrested for drunk driving when he was 19 and was given an 18 month probation. Although he was contrite at the time, his perspective now on his behavior is more in the context of addiction, showing that he is now understanding the cause of his actions.
Changes through Recovery
Phelps feels now that he will soon be ready to return to competition even though he has tarnished his reputation in the public eye. He said that he wants to show everyone that he is in a different place and is doing much better after completing his recovery program.
He wants to now prove through his actions that he is a different person and has changed for the better after becoming sober. Phelps's coach, Bob Bowman can see what a major impact recovery treatment has had on the athlete.
He was amazed by the transformation that recovery has had on Phelps and how invested the swimmer was in changing his life, not just attending the program in a superficial way. After leaving rehab, Phelps began training again and is already gearing up for competitions. He has succeeded in staying sober since leaving rehab and hopes to prove that he is ready to swim again.
Although Phelps has made many mistakes in the past, his actions show a willingness to admit that his alcohol addiction was at the root of many of his problems. The athlete is genuinely apologetic for what he has done and he is willing to do the work to prove that he has completely changed as a person.
Although it may take some time for the public to regain their confidence in Phelps after his addiction and dangerous behavior, he will try to show everyone how much his perspective has changed after his recovery. The Olympic swimmer will soon be competing again as a new athlete and a sober person.