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Josh Hamilton is trying to quit the dip

Jun 2, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

hamilton_josh

Josh Hamilton is trying to drop a nasty habit:

Josh Hamilton made a decision early Wednesday morning before he arrived at Tropicana Field. He is trying to quit using smokeless tobacco.

“Today is the first day,” Hamilton said before the Rangers’ series finale with the Rays. “The Holy Spirit … I kept waking up last night thinking about different things and what might be causing me to stumble in my relationship with the Lord. I felt like chewing tobacco was one. So I got up this morning and threw it all away. So when it is time to take a dip, I pray instead.”

Whatever works. Tobacco kills, so I don’t care if he sings the first two verses and of “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey” and does a little jig each time he has a tobacco craving. Quitting that stuff is an absolute good.

And you think it shouldn’t be too tough for him given that the dude kicked coke, heroin and booze. But I’ve spoken to a couple of addicts before, each of whom said it was actually harder for them to stop smoking. Their explanation: drugs wreck your body so quickly and can bring you so close to death that — despite how addictive drugs can be — the crappy risk/reward ratio of doing them becomes clear way more quickly than smoking’s does. For the former, there is some fairly immediate “oh crap, I’m gonna die” moment.  For the latter it’s a physical and psychological addiction paired with the mere intellectual realization that, yes, in some years this will kill them.

However that works in Hamilton’s head, good luck to him.

  1. koufaxmitzvah - Jun 2, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    The Lord suggests he go with bean dip and queso.

  2. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 2, 2011 at 10:43 AM

    Quitters never win. Also, everyone knows that Jesus dips too.

  3. rebarratige - Jun 2, 2011 at 10:50 AM

    Maybe the same technique will work on his destructive addiction to the head-first slide.

    Seriously, as someone who not too long ago managed to quit smoking (and who battles all sorts of other unhealthy addictions to crappy legal substances like caffeine), I have nothing but sympathy for Hamilton. The “time to take a dip” quote alludes to an element of the attachment that is almost as strong as the chemical addiction itself – the addiction to a particular routine. I found that the hardest thing about going cold-turkey off of cigarettes was giving up the careful choreography of the smoke break. Replacing a quasi-religious ceremony with a straight-up religious ceremony makes pragmatic sense.

    • robmoore - Jun 2, 2011 at 11:43 AM

      If he stops to pray every time he thinks its time to take a head first slide, he’ll end up making a lot of outs on the basepaths.

    • cur68 - Jun 2, 2011 at 11:49 AM

      rebar; Hey, don’t feel bad for the caffeine. It’s not so bad for you. Providing your don’t have high blood pressure, or an aneurism or something that makes changes in metabolic rate dangerous, caffeine is rather good for you.

      We dose preterm infants with it. Have found it improves respiratory function and it seems to prevent brain bleeds (though that last one might be arguable, I tend to believe in it). Google the “Caffeine for Apnea of Prematurity (CAP) Trial” to read more.

      Also in grown folks there seems to a be a significant effect on those with depression. It can be a preventative for recurrent bouts (this might have more to do with the social aspect so ‘getting a coffee with friends”, but so what? Being part of a group really helps with depression).

      Also some studies have found increased IQ is associated with coffee drinking (google that one; I’d add the link but for some reason HBT drops my post when I do). Everything is firing faster due to the effects of caffeine. Sure your hands shake a bit (I never drink coffee at work; shaky hands and preterm infants do not go well together) but your brain is revved.

      As for smoking and dependency; that’s a tough one. We tell anyone going through major dependency treatment NOT to stop smoking. They’ll relapse nearly 100% of the time.

      Hamilton is hopefully well past the point of relapse, but those around him need to be real careful with him. Quitting tobacco might just be a trigger for other less savory addictions. It is definitely the lessor of the evils for him.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 2, 2011 at 12:29 PM

        Always so insightful Cur68. Mostly you are dead on in your analysis. However, nobody is well past the point of relapse. I know and have worked with people who were clean/sober for 5, 10, even 20 years and relapsed.

      • CJ - Jun 2, 2011 at 12:40 PM

        Color me impressed. That’s good work by you, cur. Didn’t expect to see clinical trail discussion on here today that’s for sure, but I learned something new. Thanks.

      • cur68 - Jun 2, 2011 at 12:53 PM

        drmonkeyarmy; yeah, I kind of booted that about ‘past the point of relapse’. It’s ’cause my dependencies revolve around baseball, border collies, golf, and good looking women; no one tries to treat you for that (may the Rogue Chemist never find a cure!).

        CJ; have an espresso next time you feel down. The whole world is perkier after that. And you gotta go to the bathroom, but hey, you get quality reading time then.

      • deathmonkey41 - Jun 2, 2011 at 1:01 PM

        drmonkeyarmy, I’ve been quitting smoking for the past 15 yrs!

      • rebarratige - Jun 2, 2011 at 1:21 PM

        Well, that makes me feel a lot better about having just finished my sixth cup of coffee.

        /joke

        /sortof

      • ThatGuy - Jun 2, 2011 at 1:28 PM

        They have doctors in Canada?

      • cur68 - Jun 2, 2011 at 2:35 PM

        Nurses. More specifically Clinical Nurse Specialists in NICU. They make you take 2 years of graduate work involving the Differently Sane, Emergency, Orthopedics or something else that has NOTHING to do with what you’re actually interested in. All so you can get slowly fat in front of a computer while you write up a Masters that really should have been a PhD but no one knows WTF you are talking about so you have to constantly dumb it down and settle for “a survey”. Of course then you have to develop your own damn survey, learn advanced statistics and practice talking to grown ups when what you really want to do is carry out the friggin primary investigation and play golf and watch baseball. Then, when you are close to submitting it, they all turn around and say “hmmm, Cur my boy, this should be a PhD. Yes. Definitely a PhD. Go do some more work.” I hate them all.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 2, 2011 at 3:08 PM

        Sounds like a lot of work Cur. All I had to do was sit in class for an extra three years plus a clinical year which wasn’t very hard and they handed me a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. You got into the wrong line of work. Hell, I spend half my work day posting messages on here and coming up with theories about rogue chemists.

      • cur68 - Jun 2, 2011 at 3:25 PM

        doc if I could keep all those drug names straight I’d be a botanist. You are being WAY too modest. It’s friggin difficult to do that stuff.

  4. deathmonkey41 - Jun 2, 2011 at 10:52 AM

    If that doesn’t work, maybe he should start praying to Satan instead. It’s a well known fact that you shouldn’t burn your bridges!

  5. dakotablake - Jun 2, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    Hamilton never used heroin. Not that it makes his addiction any less severe; just a fact.

  6. pkiguy22 - Jun 2, 2011 at 11:17 AM

    If he doesn’t succeed in quitting, it will probably be Dave Anderson’s fault

  7. sneschalmers - Jun 2, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    I’ve had numerous friends and teammates try to quit dipping, only to find them sneaking pouches and then eventually long cuts after a few weeks. It’s a tough habit to break, good luck.

  8. Eternal Optimist - Jun 2, 2011 at 3:58 PM

    This guy is amazing. Ditching the demons that he has over his lifetime is a great accomplishment, but as some have pointed out, it’s not over. Props to you, Josh. I hope your effort convinces some highschooler that you don’t have to chew in order to be a big leaguer.

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