Why Lamar Odom Being in Rehab Is a Good Sign

You can't be helped until you accept that you need it, and with the finalization of his divorce from Khloe Kardashian looming, the former Lakers star may know he needs it

By Natalie Finn Dec 13, 2016 1:08 AMTags

Who hasn't worried that something bad was going to happen to Lamar Odom?

Despite the progress he's made since he almost died of an overdose in 2015, the fact that the former NBA star never seemed to commit to an intensive rehab program was troubling. He memorably checked into treatment in September 2013 after getting a DUI and left after barely a day.

At the time, Khloe Kardashian and the rest of her family had been urging him to get help. But as we all know now, Odom only became more self-destructive, resulting in Khloe filing for divorce that December.

Oct. 13 marked one year since he OD'd. But a year ago today, he was still in the hospital, battling back from the organ and cognitive damage he suffered that initially put him in a coma and sent Khloe—who was still legally his wife—racing to Las Vegas to be by his side.

Lamar Odom Checks Himself Into Rehab One Year After Near-Fatal Overdose

After he was released from the hospital and a residential rehabilitation center, Lamar spent the first half of this year benefiting from the built-in support system that was Khloe's family. He joined the fam for Kanye West's Yeezy Season 3 show in New York and re-bonded with Scott Disick and Rob Kardashian back in L.A.

But recently he's been doing his own thing, spending more time with his two kids and splitting time between New York, where daughter Destiny is now an aspiring model, and L.A. Khloe, who had put their divorce proceedings on hold during his recovery, re-filed on May 26 after it became apparent that Lamar was still drinking, at least occasionally. He continued to frequent clubs and bars, and he was removed from a Delta flight in July after vomiting twice before takeoff.

Now, however, could it be that he may finally be ready to truly commit to getting better?


E! News confirmed Monday that the erstwhile L.A. Laker has checked himself into rehab in San Diego, Calif.

"It was his own decision," a source tells us. "He wanted to work on his mental and physical health for the next chapter of his life. He has not fallen off the wagon, but he understand the importance of maintaining his sobriety."

And even though it's easy to sniff, "Well, about time," it's proven that battling addiction is hard enough when you want help, and rehab can be a fruitless endeavor if someone isn't ready to accept that he needs that help.

Moreover, not taking it seriously doesn't help the other people who are there and wholeheartedly trying to get better.

Lamar Odom's Happy Times On and Off the Court

In 2012, when Libertines singer Pete Doherty was in and out of rehab and handcuffs for drug-related incidents, he left one treatment program after three weeks because all involved ultimately determined that he just wasn't ready to be there. Really be there.

"At the end of the day—and this is actually quite common in the rehab institution—he basically worked out that he wasn't ready for recovery," a facility executive explained at the time to the New York Daily News. "To have even one person here out of 20 people or so that's not even motivated to be recovered or to achieve recovery, it's really disruptive for the other ones and that's not because of Pete doing anything intentionally disruptive."

Doherty's struggle continued until...now, basically. He talked to the U.K.'s Channel 4 about getting clean ahead of his show at Paris' Bataclan in November, not wanting to be paying tribute to the victims' of the 2015 terrorist attack while high.

"Yeah, I had to do the Bataclan clean," the rocker said. "I had to get clean for the Bataclan, because enough is enough."

Gabe Ginsberg/WireImage

Recalling the 2005 trip to rehab that finally set him straight after years of drinking and drug abuse, Colin Farrell told David Letterman in 2008 that he had basically been slowly killing himself.

"So much of the work that I did I was struggling so hard to keep my s--t together," the Irish actor said. "A lot of my energy was going into trying not to have a complete meltdown in front of Al Pacino." He added, "Desperation will allow you to do incredible things in the name of survival...I had created an environment for myself, a way of living for myself which, on the outside, seemed incredibly gregarious and vivacious."

Farrell was just nominated for a Golden Globe Monday morning, Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy, for his work in The Lobster and is also on big screens right now in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Celebrity Rehabbers

And if Odom's timing seems sudden, remember that it might not be one shocking, life-altering event—such as almost dying in a Nevada brothel—that finally tips the scales for a person.

Because he had heavily abused drugs in the past, Steven Tyler checked into rehab later in life as a way to get a grip on a potential problem. He entered treatment in 2008 after undergoing surgery on his feet so that his use of any pain medication would be supervised, and then again in 2009 to continue managing chronic pain. 

"I wasn't going to continue to be alive if I continued to treat my body the way I was," Demi Lovato told E! News in 2011 about her decision to seek treatment for eating disorders and her tendency to self-harm. "It's a daily journey and it's definitely going to be a struggle that I'll have to deal with for the rest of my life," said the singer, whose candor has since made her an inspiration for so many. "Sometimes I think, 'Why couldn't I have been normal?'"


After Keith Urban's stay at the Betty Ford Center in 2006, not long after he married Nicole Kidman, he opened up about what prompted him to seek help—a surprising turn of events coming so soon after his wedding.

"There was no cataclysmic event that happened right before I went in," Urban said in a video message posted to his website in January 2007. "What it was, was a lot of small things that were happening in my life and a lot of small moments that were starting to accumulate that were telling me very loud and clear that I was a long way from my program of recovery...and that were making my life unmanageable."

A 30-day stay turned into 90, he revealed.

"I learned what they say in there, that abstinence is the ticket into the movie, it's not the movie," the singer said. "It's hard to quantify what I learned in 90 days, but suffice it to say, it's been one of the most impactful times of my whole life."

As for Odom, he is definitely at a crossroads in life.

A courthouse spokesperson confirmed to E! News that a judgment was entered in Lamar and Khloe's divorce last week and it's due to be finalized on Dec. 17.

So it's only a good sign that Lamar Odom is starting the next chapter of his life by getting the help he needs.

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