Dwight Gooden Is Suffering With Life-Threatening Cocaine Addiction Says Darryl Strawberry
Just one month ago, ESPN chronicled the rise and fall of two of the New York Mets greatest players, Dwight “Doc” Gooden and Darryl Strawberry, in their docu-series 30 For 30: Doc And Darryl.
Both ballers were highly successful on the field and they both fell victim to substance abuse.
While Darryl was able to straighten out his life, Doc hasn’t had such an easy go of it…
Appearing rail-thin and frail, beloved former Met Dwight (Doc) Gooden refused to discuss Monday whether he had a cocaine problem — rejecting his teammate Darryl Strawberry’s urgent plea he get help.
The 51-year-old pitcher, who has recently shared his struggles with cocaine during and after his decorated career, spoke to the Daily News outside of his Jersey City apartment following his recent failure to appear at two fan events.
“I’m doing fine. There’s a lot more to the story than you’d think. I respect you for coming by, it’s your job,” Gooden said. “But I’m going to make a written statement. It’ll be best for my family and for me. I’m doing good. Unfortunately I just have to deal with this mess. It happens.”
Thing is, no one believes that Doc is “doing fine”, especially not Darryl Strawberry based on what he told NYDN…
“I have to try something before he’s dead,” was the way Strawberry put it.
“He’s a complete junkie-addict,” Strawberry said. “I’ve been trying behind the scenes to talk to him and get him to go for help, but he won’t listen. He thinks he can manipulate and BS his way through everything. His son called me to beg me to help his dad before he dies.
“The condition Doc is in, it’s bad, it’s horrible. It’s like cocaine poison. I feel like I’ve got to get it out there because nobody else is doing anything to help him, and it might be the only way to stop him.”
Another person close to Gooden, former live-in girlfriend Janice Roots, co-signs Strawberry’s perception of his former teammate.
“It breaks my heart because Dwight is a loving, compassionate man who took care of me when I had health problems,” Roots said by phone on Sunday. “But then he morphed into a cocaine monster.
“I don’t even know if he realizes what he’s doing. He turns into a different person. He’s a great guy who takes care of his family members, but being around him, there were times when it was just a very toxic, dangerous environment.
“I felt helpless to do anything. I finally left because to sit there and watch somebody kill himself was devastating.”
No one wants to read Doc Gooden’s obituary, but it sounds like if he doesn’t kick the coke real soon, like today, he’s going to become a hashtag much sooner than later.
Image via AP