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Astros prospect Jonathan Singleton opens up about addiction

Mar 3, 2014, 8:27 PM EDT

Jonathan Singleton Getty Getty Images

Kristie Rieken of the Associated Press has a really interesting read on Astros prospect Jonathan Singleton, who served a 50-game suspension at the start of last season after a second positive test for marijuana use. Singleton, who had a month-long stay at an in-patient rehab center, was brutally honest about the impact the drug had on him.

“At this point it’s pretty evident to me that I’m a drug addict,” he told The Associated Press over breakfast on a recent day near the Astros’ camp. “I don’t openly tell everyone that, but it’s pretty apparent to myself.”
“I know that I enjoy smoking weed, I enjoy being high and I can’t block that out of my mind that I enjoy that,” he said. “So I have to work against that.”

Singleton said he hasn’t smoked marijuana in more than one year, but it hasn’t been an easy road. In fact, he admitted that he turned to alcohol as a substitute last year amid his struggles at the Triple-A level and would wake up “hung over every single morning.” Talk about unintended consequences. Singleton is said to be in a better place mentally now and he could be a factor with the Astros in the early part of this season if all goes well.

By the way, Singleton was added to the Astros’ 40-man roster in October and can no longer be tested for marijuana.

Per Brian McTaggart of MLB.com, the Astros released the following statement regarding Singelton’s comments:

“We applaud Jon for the courage he has shown in tackling this issue head on. He has displayed a great deal of maturity and commitment over the past year and has the full support of the Astros organization. He is on the right track for his baseball career, and, more importantly, for his life. We are very proud of Jon.”

  1. deep64blue - Mar 3, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    Good luck to the kid and well done for his honesty.

    PS I think “impatient” should be “in-patient”!!

    • D.J. Short - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:03 PM

      Ugh. Sorry about that. Thanks.

    • beavertonsteve - Mar 4, 2014 at 2:01 PM

      Worst rehab center ever. You’ve been here for what, 48 hours? Why are you still addicted? Hurry up man.

  2. barrywhererufrom - Mar 3, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    Wow pot is addicting..people should take heed of singleton’s statements. I hope he beats his addictions and has a productive happy life

    • asimonetti88 - Mar 3, 2014 at 11:45 PM

      Lots of things are addictive… like the thing the internet was invented for (porn). Doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be illegal.

    • Old Gator - Mar 4, 2014 at 10:35 AM

      Well well, poor dim Barry actually thinks he’s “learned” something. Pretty jarring experience for someone whose comments always sound pre-recorded. Perhaps he (and Singleton) ought to look up the difference between “addiction” and “dependency.” What Singleton is talking about here is really a “dependency,” witness the ease with which he segued from the illegal and relatively harmless marijuana to the legal and far more destructive alcohol. Biochemical addictions, like the ones that form around opiates and involve changes to the body that cause it literally to require regular infusions of the drug to keep functioning, don’t allow for such ease of substitution by a loooooong shot.

      Whereas there are numerous similarities between dependent and addictive personalities, they’re not the same thing. Dependent personalities are more prone to addiction and, if they also have some genetic predisposition to forming biochemical addictions easily, you’d have the worst possible scenario. Singleton seems not to have the latter problem, which is fortunate. He also seems to be self-aware enough, and brave enough, to tackle his issues straight on. I wish him all the luck in the world and a successful baseball career.

  3. kcroyal - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:10 PM

    You ever suck dick for marijuana?

    • stex52 - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:18 PM

      Ever think you would look good in a strait-jacket, you juvenile scumbag?

      • stex52 - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:52 PM

        Play with the thumbs all you want, kc. Doesn’t keep you from being a little nitwit.

      • dondada10 - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:57 PM

        We need the citation nazi poster to make an appearance.

        “Ever suck dick for weed? (Half-Baked, 1998)

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:57 PM

        it’s a line from a movie stex:

      • arizonagrit - Mar 3, 2014 at 11:28 PM

        Somebody obviously missed the movie reference….boo this man!!!

    • gmfw7 - Mar 3, 2014 at 10:08 PM

      Stex….1.i just accidentally report your comment so sorry 2. Its a quote from a dave chapelle movie about smoking weed called “half baked”, so why don’t we settle down a bit there guy.

      • stex52 - Mar 3, 2014 at 10:13 PM

        Sorry. I didn’t know the reference. But I also didn’t think it was very funny about a guy fighting addiction.

      • kcroyal - Mar 3, 2014 at 10:49 PM

        Stex…sorry for offending you, kinda. We’re talking about marijuana addiction though…it’s really not addictive. I’ve smoked pot for 15 years and recently stopped for 5 weeks anticipating a UA. Absolutely not difficult at all, marijuana addiction is a myth like Sasquatch or the moon landing.

      • Reflex - Mar 4, 2014 at 1:03 AM

        Because you *personally* were able to quit without a problem you think its not an addiction? My father was a heavy drinker for 20 years, mostly cheap whisky. In 1981 he quit cold turkey, no programs or special treatments. He never started again. Absolutely not difficult at all, alcohol addiction is a myth like Sasquatch or the moon landing..

        Clearly that’s how it works.

      • asimonetti88 - Mar 4, 2014 at 11:01 AM

        I’ve never understood the argument that pot isn’t addictive. Honestly, anything can be addictive. There are people who have crippling addictions to the internet. But having addictive properties isn’t enough to make something illegal. Physically, cigarettes and tobacco are far more addictive than weed, as is alcohol.

  4. realgone2 - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:15 PM

    Do Rockies players get a pass?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:16 PM

      I know this is probably a joke, but just in case, players on the 40 man roster aren’t tested for weed. Those who aren’t though can still face a suspension for a banned substance.

    • Old Gator - Mar 4, 2014 at 7:38 AM

      Rockies players are already high. No point in smoking weed at 5300 feet ASL when you can just run up a flight of stairs and be hallucinating from hypoxia.

      • unclemosesgreen - Mar 4, 2014 at 8:52 AM

        So are you saying they’re all Rocky Mountain High?

      • Old Gator - Mar 4, 2014 at 8:59 AM

        There is no way that a hardcore jazz snob like me is going to allude to a piece of lower tier pop culture John Denver tripe like that. No way.

        By the way, have you seen the trailer for the new Godzilla?

      • unclemosesgreen - Mar 4, 2014 at 9:29 AM

        OK, you can have it your way. When Singleton gets back to Houston, he can start in on a Texas Tea Party.

      • unclemosesgreen - Mar 4, 2014 at 9:39 AM

        And no on the Godzilla trailer – I’m a little bit out of touch these days.

      • moogro - Mar 4, 2014 at 1:51 PM

        They got the mouth all wrong on the new Godzilla. But the scale looks impressive. A little concerned about what looks like a changing of the subtext from nukes creating Godzilla to nukes used against an existing Godzilla. That’s just not right.

  5. tuberippin - Mar 3, 2014 at 10:01 PM

    Psychological addiction, aka, “I really want it and don’t have enough willpower to stop myself.”

    • Reflex - Mar 4, 2014 at 1:10 AM

      The distinction is artificial. All addiction is a matter of chemical interactions. In fact all behavior is. What do you think is the “I really want it” mechanism? Also, how does will power factor into it?

      • js20011041 - Mar 4, 2014 at 8:24 AM

        “I really want that car. I’m going to just take it.” This is the result of a chemical reaction in the brain. A person sees something they covet and then make a decision whether or not to act on that impulse. For some people, this is harder than for others. Should we not be punishing people for thievery? Some people, sociopaths, are born without the ability to empathize with others. Some people, psychopaths, are born with the desire to cause harm in living creatures. Some people, like addicts, have incurable, insatiable urges that they will live with forever. Only, instead of drugs, their urges consist of a sexual desire for children. Should we not be punishing these people when they cause harm? We don’t make excuses for them. We don’t say, “where does willpower come in?” This isn’t to say that I’m sympathizing with criminals. I’m simply wondering how you are making a distinction. Yes, addicts harm themselves, whereas criminals harm others, but that basic fact, doesn’t factor in to how their basic impulses affect their decision making ability. If you’re going to classify one thing as a disease, but not something else that is essentially the same thing, my question is, why not? Where are you drawing the line and why?

      • stlouis1baseball - Mar 4, 2014 at 9:47 AM

        Marijuana has been proven to be “mentally” addictive. Not physically addictive.
        Huge…huge difference. One makes you think you need something. The other leaves you with delbiliating withdrawals that sometimes results in the addict breaking laws to ger their fix.

      • Reflex - Mar 4, 2014 at 1:33 PM

        js – You are comparing two things with wildly different consequences of action. What you are calling ‘willpower’ is in reality a cost/benefit analysis that all humans make in all decisions. They often choose poorly, and in fact some choose to steal the car despite the consequences, but it does not change the fact that that is all it is.

        stlouis – Mentally addictive is the same as physically addictive. The distinction you are making is, again, artificial. A more accurate statement would be to point out that marijuana is not as addictive as, say, methamphetamines or opiates. But it is obviously addictive, and is in fact in the medical literature as an addictive substance.

      • tuberippin - Mar 5, 2014 at 11:31 PM

        “Mentally” and “Physically” addictive are not artificial distinctions in the medical community, even with the increase in research on the brain and mental health. Have you never met any addicts or recovering addicts? Your body does not go into “shut down” mode over cannabis in the same way it does an opiate.

        If you want to argue semantics (mental = brain, brain is part of the body, ergo it is physical), you’re on your own.

      • Reflex - Mar 6, 2014 at 12:20 AM

        You are arguing against a strawman here. No one is arguing that pot is as harmful as opiates or as addicting. Of course there are degrees. Pot is likely not even as addicting as alcohol or cigarettes. But that does not change the fact that it is addicting for some, and for certain populations it is certainly very addicting (studies are now demonstrating that aboriginals appear to have a weakness to pot addiction similar to native weaknesses to alcohol, for instance).

        You can make the case that pot should be legal. You won’t even find a huge amount of resistance from me, most of my resistance is around the idea that it is harmless, since it is demonstrably not. But claiming its simply not a big deal, or that it will not harm or addict some segment of the population is not tenable as a credible argument. Furthermore, the argument made that it is simply a matter of ‘willpower’ is a throwback to 50’s thinking on alcoholism.

  6. mikhelb - Mar 3, 2014 at 10:03 PM

    i hope he is telling the truth and not just complying with the Astros hard stance against drug users and drug addicts. Good thing for him is wont be tested again for marijuana as long as he is in the 40 men roster and can smoke all he wants to with the Astros unable to do anything.

  7. tuberippin - Mar 3, 2014 at 10:17 PM

    Heaven forbid the man smokes a joint to get to sleep at night.

    Note how he was a top prospect and played well in the minors while he was smoking every day…and then when he switched to alcohol because of the drug testing policy, suddenly there’s issues abound (constant hangovers, nagging need to drink, significant decline in performance).

  8. musketmaniac - Mar 3, 2014 at 11:43 PM

    lol, wtf. weed. addictive. wtf, lol.

    • kcroyal - Mar 3, 2014 at 11:47 PM

      Dave’s not here.

  9. campcouch - Mar 4, 2014 at 4:31 AM

    so he’s wired for addiction period. Weed or booze,it doesn’t matter,his body craves some kind of mind altering stimulant. What’s next on his menu? Being in Houston isn’t really going to help his struggle.

  10. paperlions - Mar 4, 2014 at 7:49 AM

    The stigma with respect to weed is odd, considering the general drug addled nature of our culture (have any ailment, perceived ailment or possible ailment….go visit a “physician”, they’ll prescribe you something to make it all better) and the fact that we have many legal drugs that are far more harmful with far fewer benefits (e.g. alcohol) the continued stance against weed is perplexing.

    It isn’t like there are a lot of people out there just dying to get stoned that don’t know where to get weed and its legalization will result in a addict boom….to the contrary, the now decades long “war on drugs” has done nothing to curb addiction rates….a drugs legal status does little more than affect how much it costs society to regulate.

    • js20011041 - Mar 4, 2014 at 8:35 AM

      Exactly. Those who want to smoke weed are already doing so. Nationwide legalization will lead to a minor increase in use, if any. I’m tired of wasting money on criminalizing an activity that is entirely victimless.

      Just think of the financial impact of legalizing, not just weed, but all drugs. Between the savings in no longer regulating them and then the gains in taxing their consumption, that’s a pretty healthy step towards balancing the budget. Now, if we could also start taxing the churches…

      • Reflex - Mar 4, 2014 at 1:38 PM

        Of course reality does not agree with this line of thinking. The most illegally trafficked item in both the US and the world is….tobacco. Second most is alcohol. Once you add a tax and production standards you have ensured a black market for an addictive substance that its users will attempt to get at the cheapest price possible(for the most part).

        This is not an endorsement of keeping pot criminalized. But the argument that it will reduce crime or societal costs is garbage and does not hold up to the track record of other ‘legalized drugs’. The same goes for prostitution, btw, the legalization of prostitution in parts of the EU has led to the largest human trafficking disaster in the world as supply simply cannot keep up with demand.

  11. unclemosesgreen - Mar 4, 2014 at 8:55 AM

    Now that he’s on the 40-man roster he can start chasing those hangovers away with morning bong rips.

  12. pmbryant - Mar 4, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    OK, I’ll be the dick here. Seriously? Rehab for weed? I’m amazed he didn’t get laughed out of the building by people with actual serious addictions. If the dude wanted to quit smoking weed – that’s cool, more power to him. But making a big deal about it, getting “treatment.” Puh-leeze. Weak.

    • pmbryant - Mar 4, 2014 at 10:43 AM

      At least it’s not as weak as “sex addiction.”

    • unclemosesgreen - Mar 4, 2014 at 10:46 AM

      Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you have an amazing career playing a children’s game for already large and potentially ludicrously large amounts of money. But you’ve put that career in jeopardy by twice testing positive for a drug that is prohibited in your career. You’ve already served a 50 game suspension, and you still can’t stop using the drug.

      I’d say that would be a pretty good time to get into rehab.

      • pmbryant - Mar 4, 2014 at 10:57 AM

        This is a guy who KNOWS he won’t be tested once getting put on the 40 man roster. And this “mental” addiction business — it’s called willpower! You know the reason why people get laughed at for going to rehab for weed? Because its laughable.

      • Reflex - Mar 4, 2014 at 1:39 PM

        For you. For others, that ‘willpower’ is overcome by the chemical addiction that weed and other drugs can cause.

      • pmbryant - Mar 4, 2014 at 4:00 PM

        Weed is not physically addictive. Sure there is brain chemistry involved, but that’s also the same for gambling & “sex addiction.” And if you are gambling away the rent money, or ruined your marriage because you’re unfaithful and can’t keep it in your pants, then the problem is that you are an irresponsible jerk who can’t control his/her id, not some phony addiction. The problem is you suck at being an adult.

        “Treatment” shoots the messenger (alcohol, etc.) for unleashing some sort of internal monster within. The real problem is that deep down inside, you are jerk. Maybe the more productive approach would be, instead of conveniently blaming the bottle or whatever for all your problems, to do address WHY you are a jerk deep down inside and doing something about that, rather than just eliminating a trigger mechanism.

      • Reflex - Mar 6, 2014 at 12:14 AM

        Very interesting rant, I suppose you have some sort of evidence to counter the reams of documentation and studies done that demonstrate that these addictions are not about someone simply being a ‘jerk’ and are instead tied to chemical and potentially genetic weaknesses, which is why certain populations are more susceptible to some types of addictions than others.

  13. strictlythedanks - Mar 4, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    Legalize it already

  14. caliboss - Mar 5, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING!!!13

    “any doctor against marijuana is a doctor of death” – cali secret 420

    from 0 states to half the country, from low 20% approval to almost 70%, cali runs this planet by 2 decades, time to tie marijuana to the 2014, and 2016 elections, out with the old, in with the new

    20 years behind us southern states, sad and scary….nobody denies freedoms like the south, nobody…the top ten incarcerators on the planet are southern states…even if marijuana reforms did pass the republiCANTS in charge would deny you all your freedoms, centuries of practice…no matter though, we never planned on getting your backwards brethren from day one, half the country already but not one southern state, lol…Texas will be last

    Average spent per inmate a year = $31,286 (profit and police over people)
    Average spent per student a year = $10,605 (dumber and more in debt, each one of us is liable for around $40,000 of rising American debt)

    love and freedom forever

    AMERICA’S WAR ON DRUGS IS A WAR ON AMERICANS!!!33

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