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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Jeff Bagwell Talks About Being an Alcoholic For the First Time

A copy of Bagwell’s Hall of Fame plaque — and other baseball mementos — can be seen over Bagwell’s shoulder. But this day is about anything but baseball for one of the greatest Astros of all time. Instead, it’s about sharing his descent into a personal hell and his continuing recovery from it. (Bagwell says he has not had a drink since 10/17/2017.)

“At times you lose hope,” Bagwell says. “I think you don’t value your life anymore. I remember looking in the mirror in the morning, at 7’o’clock in the morning, and saying. ‘What are you doing, man? You’re killing yourself.’ And still could not stop.

“Because for me to get through the day, I had to have drinks.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 22, 2020 at 01:39 PM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: jeff bagwell

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   1. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 22, 2020 at 02:06 PM (#5984578)

Good for Bagwell. He was always one of my favorite non-Mets players during his career, and I'm glad to see him on the road to recovery and channeling his experience towards something positive.
   2. puck Posted: October 22, 2020 at 02:39 PM (#5984586)
That's a good story. Sounds like he has kept his family. I wish him luck.

Sounds like an interesting school too.

The 52-year-old Bagwell could not get those kids struggling with a disease that brought him, a famous athlete, to his knees, out of his mind. Particularly, when he attended a Walk the Line ceremony at Archway. This is where a counselor or teacher asks the group if they’ve ever did or tried to do this or that. If you did, you walk the line, physically step over a line marked out on the ground with everyone else in the group who has.

“Then she says, ‘Have you ever tried to commit suicide? Cross the line,’ ” Bagwell says. “And say there was 70 kids there. At least 65 crossed that line. And that just hit me like a ton of bricks.”

Damn, hang in there, kids. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
   3. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 22, 2020 at 04:05 PM (#5984601)
It's always a good thing when someone is able to turn suffering into empathy, and empathy into aid. I was always a Bags fan since he anchored my Strat teams in the early 90s, and I'm an even bigger fan now.
   4. vortex of dissipation Posted: October 22, 2020 at 04:38 PM (#5984606)
I was always a Bags fan since he anchored my Strat teams in the early 90s,

His 1994 Strat card is one of the best ever, especially against lefty pitching.
   5. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 22, 2020 at 05:14 PM (#5984610)
Oh man, yeah. That left side was a wall of hits.
   6. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: October 22, 2020 at 06:21 PM (#5984630)
Jeff Bagwell Talks About Being an Alcoholic For the First Time

What was it like being an alcoholic all of the other times, Jeff?
   7. Zach Posted: October 22, 2020 at 07:21 PM (#5984640)
Or Austin, who was doing heroin before his recovery and noted that “the average life expectancy of someone shooting heroin is three months.”

Can that really be true? Seems like it would be impossible for there to be a market if the entire user base was turning over every three months.

   8. The Honorable Ardo Posted: October 23, 2020 at 07:12 PM (#5984810)
I'm also in a twelve-step fellowship; my date is 2/2/17. Recovery is not easy. Thanks to Jeff for sharing his story.
   9. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: October 23, 2020 at 08:45 PM (#5984831)
Ardo , good strength, good family support and good luck to you.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: October 24, 2020 at 02:34 AM (#5984867)
47,000 opiod-"involved" overdose deaths in the US in 2018, 2/3 of those synthetic opioids. 67,000 overdose deaths of any variety. 2016 estimates put the number who used heroin** that year around 950,000 of which 170,000 reported using for the first time that year. They estimate about 625,000 of those are addicted. The 2016 numbers were way up on the previous decade, primarily in rural/suburban areas and young adults 18-25 (but down among 12-17 yo). (Note 670,000 addicts, 16,000 deaths would be a conditional mortality rate of about 2.5% which is massive enough already; if many of the addicts are not injecting but many of the overdoses are, the mortality rate for injectors would be even higher.)

So no, not a life expectancy of three months but obviously not good. I can imagine that mortality would be even higher if you use fentanyl-laced heroin or started using heroin because you could no longer afford fentanyl and are chasing the same high. Or I can imagine it could be usually 3 months before something really shitty happens (ER, arrest, infection). Or possibly the quote was meant more conditionally like "after your first overdose, if you survive, life expectancy if you go back..." or "if you've been injecting for 3 months, you're pretty much doomed."

But hey, if the misinformation "you'll be dead in 3 months" is effective at stopping people from starting, I have no objection.

Most of that from The 2018 overdose figures from

** the page I'm looking at says "heroin" not "opioids" so I assume it is heroin use. But the numbers have risen so dramatically I wonder if it is opioids. Further note from that page, the DSM5 apparently no longer distinguishes abuse from addiction but rather assesses symptoms to decide if it's mild to severe, my use of "addiction" above cites the DSM4.
   11. Zach Posted: October 27, 2020 at 08:05 PM (#5985778)
Maybe they mean the average length of use among people who die is 3 months?

A 5% mortality figure per year just from overdoses is insanely high, but at that rate it takes 13.5 years for total mortality to hit 50%.

Half the users dying in three months would be a 94% annualized mortality rate.
   12. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 28, 2020 at 01:30 AM (#5986018)
I doubt the statistic is correct, but it does say the average for people “shooting” heroin, not just any users. If you’re injecting it you’re often already pretty far down that path. And you’re likely taking something that has fentanyl or other impurities. At least that’s my understanding from a couple of books I read earlier this year.

Also, not all heroin addicts die from overdoses — disease (from needle sharing, I imagine) and other causes of death are also more common.

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