Hockey star, Rich Clune of the Nashville Predators has recently opened up about his recovery from alcoholism and how it changed his life for the better. Clune is one of the few NHL players to admit to his alcohol problem while still in the league and although a controversial confession he wants to get the word out about recovering from alcoholism. He first revealed the fact that he is a recovered alcohol last year in an article for ESPN.com and more recently he has published a 30 minute confessional on Instaradio with a more detailed account of his journey to sobriety. Clune decided to reveal his troubled past in order to deal with rumors and discussion over the internet. His goal was to take the power back by telling the full story and provide some hope and inspiration to those struggling with addiction.
Drinking as a Player in the NHL
Rich Clune is currently the forward for the Nashville Predators but he has been in the NHL since 2007 when he was drafted for the Dallas Stars on a three year entry level contract. The following year he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings and just last year was picked up by the Predators. Clune has stated that he took his first drink at the age of 13 and was drunk the day he was first drafted for the Dallas Stars. His drinking behavior got him into trouble while playing for the Los Angeles Kings and cost him a chance to continue with them when they won the Stanley Cup. His teammates began to shun him because of his excessive drinking and people in his life kept telling him that alcohol was ruining him. He finally decided to enter rehab treatment as an inpatient and then twice a week as an outpatient for continued treatment.
Getting Help for Alcoholism
One of the biggest reasons Clune ended up seeking treatment was the amount of people in his life who were intervening for him and telling him he needed to get help. He came to realize that he was messing up his own life and the opportunities he had in the NHL by letting his drinking get so out of control. His choice to get sober was not so much a spiritual awakening but more an effort to listen to the advice of people close to him and avoid losing his lifestyle as a professional athlete. After completing his stay in rehab and becoming sober, Clune was offered the opportunity to play for the Nashville Predators. Clune is satisfied with his new sober lifestyle and is not tempted by the fact that many people in the NHL drink and party heavily. He is glad to know that his teammates accept his decision not to drink or do drugs and still enjoys hanging out at parties with them.
Sobriety and Being a Role Model
Clune’s stands firm in his decision to stay sober especially after the recent suicide of Terry Trafford who was cut by the Saginaw Spirit for his drug use. The tragedy struck a chord with Clune who could have lost his ability to play in the NHL because of his alcoholism. He admits that he used alcohol as a form of self-medication for years. He eventually found that alcohol no longer worked as an escape from his problems but only created more complications in his life. Clune genuinely regrets his mistakes and has hope for the future as a player in the NHL. He believes that by opening up and discussing his alcoholism, he can become a role model for others who have not yet made the decision to end their addictions.