HBO will share Ray Lucas' story on the next edition of "Real Sports," which will debut Tuesday night.
Over the past couple months, I've relayed Facebook updates of Lucas' addiction to prescription painkillers and his attempt to get clean at a facility in West Palm Beach, Fla. The former New England Patriots, New York Jets and Miami Dolphins quarterback had been giving a brutally frank glimpse into his experience.
"Real Sports" correspondent Armen Keteyian met with Lucas to talk about Pain Alternatives, Solutions and Treatments (PAST), the New Jersey medical group that performed neck surgery on Lucas in September and helped him through rehab.
In a transcript excerpt provided by HBO, Lucas admitted he considered killing himself before he hooked up with PAST. He thought about driving off the George Washington Bridge and into the Hudson River below.
"I was thinking 'Go on the GW, make a right in the middle.' You know what I'm saying?" Lucas said. "Just screw it. I didn't want to kill myself in the house because the girls would be there."
Lucas became addicted painkillers while trying to cope with injuries accumulated over eight NFL seasons. He was a gritty quarterback who wasn't afraid to run out of the pocket and challenge defenders.
"I'm bankrupting my family because I needed the medicine," Lucas said. "I mean there was times when I was going to shave and I couldn't shave because I didn't like who I was staring back at. I wanted to punch him right in the face."
Lucas described how he would appear to be just fine as a television analyst for SNY. He was able to conceal his problem well enough to recently win an Emmy Award for his work.
"I would stop taking the pills the night before," Lucas said, "but when I got off the [SNY] set, and going to get my truck and drive home, I was taking about a handful, 15, 16 pills at a time.
"You know, 450 pills a month is not a game. That was my life. That was my life every friggin' day. And the only time I got out of bed was to go do my TV show, the only time. So family life, was none. Father, wasn't there. Husband, not there."