Former MLB player Aubrey Huff revealed in an interview with ESPN's Buster Olney that he became addicted to Adderall late in his career and contemplated suicide after suffering from anxiety and depression.
"In 2014, I found myself in my closet, on my knees, with a .357 Magnum, hammer pulled back, staring at myself in the mirror..." he said in the interview (h/tI was ready to pull the trigger. This was a low-low point in my life. I had hit rock bottom at that moment."
Huff revealed in the interview that he first started taking Adderall in 2009 after it was introduced to him by one of his Baltimore Orioles teammates. He took it to deal with a hangover and was drinking daily at that time in his life, and was instantly hooked on the prescription medication.
"I just popped it naturally and within 30 minutes... it was a feeling of euphoria that I had never felt in all my life," he said. "I knew right then and there I was going to take this stuff the rest of my career."
Huff was a major part of the San Francisco Giants 2010 World Series title, hitting .290 that season with 26 home runs and 86 RBI. He was one of the best players in baseball that season and a leader in the clubhouse, but, he told Olney, immediately after winning the title he felt something was wrong:
The next morning I woke up next to my wife after we won the World Series, and I looked her dead in the eye and I go, 'Huh. Now what?' It was a feeling - I was coming down from my Adderall - it was a feeling of worthlessness and emptiness because I worked my whole life to win a World Series, but I felt so empty and so ashamed.
So I went through that whole 2010 playing under the influence. … I think in a lot of ways, Adderall is more potent than any steroid you can take because, as you know, baseball is a game of mental toughness, and Adderall gets into your head and makes you feel invincible.
Huff went on to win a second World Series with the Giants in 2012, though he only played in 52 games that season and came off the bench for the team in the postseason. He told Olney he's been clean since that year, though has continued to deal with depression and anxiety. He also revealed that his Adderall addiction ultimately led to a gambling problem and the end of his marriage.
Adderall is a banned substance in MLB unless it is prescribed by a doctor and a player obtains a therapeutic use exemption. In 2014, 119 players—or 9.9 percent of the league—presented the league with doctor's notes prescribing Adderall, per CBS Sports. That report noted that just 4.4 percent of the United States adult population suffers from conditions that would warrant Adderall use.
And that doesn't account for the number of players potentially using the drug without an exemption. Adderall use has become an issue for MLB, and Huff's story serves as a reminder of how detrimental the drug can be if abused.