Dr. Aaron's Blog

Oooooh – Dennis Rodman, everyone knows this flamboyant BBall player!

December 15, 2015 Addiction, All, Naturopathic Medicine, Recovery coaching by Aaron Van Gaver

Dennis Rodman first came to fame as a key cog of the Detroit Pistons’ Bad Boys championship squads, playing alongside Hall Of Famers like Isaiah Thomas and Joe Dumars and while he would eventually become a Hall Of Famer himself, winning five championships (two as a member of the Pistons, three as a member of the Michael Jordan-Scottie Pippen Chicago Bulls), this success could not fill the void in Rodman’s heart and mind.

Dennis did not grow up as a jock and if not for a dramatic growth spurt that he experienced much later in life, he never would have even sniffed the NBA. Those closest to him attribute this little known fact to his struggles with addiction. He attempted suicide in 1993 and while his persona these days is larger than life and eccentric, he was a shy and introverted child.

After an NBA career filled with bizarre moments, such as removing his sneakers during crunch time of a playoff game and wearing a wedding dress to promote his autobiography, Rodman has continued to struggle with alcohol addiction. He finally checked into an outpatient clinic in Florida in 2008.

When this initial attempt at sobriety did not take, Rodman valiantly continued to try. He was cast on Celebrity Rehab the following year, but his behaviour would soon become so abhorrent, show leader Dr. Drew Pinsky would be forced to arrange an intervention with Rodman’s closest family and friends, at the rehab clinic.

Rodman famously refused to seek further treatment, for fear of missing out on the Celebrity Rehab reunion show, an alarming development. From there, he continued to work on becoming clean and was even able to reunite with his estranged mother during a season of Sober House, which also doubled as the first time she had met Dennis’ children.

But in 2010, Rodman’s outlandish behaviour would rear its ugly head once again and he was ejected from a restaurant in Orange County for partaking in behaviours that were deemed as disruptive to the rest of the patrons. In 2012, his financial adviser came forward and spoke honestly about Dennis’ continued struggles, saying that the alcohol dependency Dennis had developed was keeping him from getting work.

After an ill-timed trip to North Korea, where Rodman consumed alcohol at a level that was previously unseen by his closest friends and confidants and waxed poetic about the greatness of dictator Kim Jong-il, he checked back into rehab at the beginning of 2014.

Thankfully, Rodman has remained out of the headlines since and while alcohol addiction is not something that ever leaves a person completely, it is the sincere hope of all those who have appreciated his talents over the years that he finally has his demons under control.