Houston Matters

What Opiate Recovery Looks Like For Former NFL QB Ryan Leaf

Ryan Leaf was a quarterback in the NFL for four seasons. He played with a handful of teams, including the Seattle Seahawks, the San Diego Chargers and the Dallas Cowboys, but his short career was plagued with injuries and self-described bad-behavior. Leaf wasn’t long out of the game before he was introduced to opiates, and […]

(L-R) Houston Public Media's Edel Howlin, along with former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf and Joni Ogle with Transcend, an addiction recovery organization.Ryan Leaf was a quarterback in the NFL for four seasons. He played with a handful of teams, including the Seattle Seahawks, the San Diego Chargers and the Dallas Cowboys, but his short career was plagued with injuries and self-described bad-behavior.

Leaf wasn't long out of the game before he was introduced to opiates, and this quickly spiraled into a drug addiction that took over his life. It lead him down the path of doctor shopping to ask for pills and later breaking and entering into homes where he grew up in Montana to get access to any type of opiate. That was the behavior that landed him in prison.

Now, he’s a spokesperson for Transcend, a recovery community that helped get him back on his feet after he served his prison sentence.

Transcend set up an office in Houston earlier this year and invited Leaf to come and share his story. Houston Matters producer Edel Howlin chatted with Leaf and Joni Ogle, the executive director of Transcend Texas.

(Above: L-R Houston Public Media’s Edel Howlin, along with former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf and Joni Ogle with Transcend, an addiction recovery organization.)

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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