When Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel entered an alcohol rehab on January 28th for lack of a better word – excessive partying – it was not clear at the time if it was a serious move to cure his alcohol or drug abuse problems or more of a PR stunt often carried out by high profile people like him.
Many professional athletes and celebrities i.e. Lindsay Lohan check themselves into alcohol and drug treatment centers to stay away from the Paparazzi’s and perform damage control on their public personas, these sojourns often last 15 days or less.
“It has been well documented through evidence based studies, the chances someone recovering from alcohol or drug addiction after 15 or 30 days of rehab is slim to none,” said Karen Corcoran-Walsh, owner and founder of Inspirations for Youth and Families Teen Rehab and the Cove Center for Recovery adult treatment center. “Even a 60 day stay is asking for a relapse. We often recommend to our clients remain in residential treatment for 90 days followed by a strong aftercare program.”
Walsh added: “Depending on the drug the person in recovery has abused, it is often still in their system for at least a week. So you can’t be in treatment mode until the detox is complete.”
While Manziel’s stay at rehab has not yet reached one month, the fact that he has remained there is encouraging for his friends, family, team mates and fans.
Cleveland Browns General Manager Ray Farmer said in a statement that the team supports Manziel’s decision. The Brown’s did not specify what problem Manziel sought help for. Earlier this season ESPN’s Skip Bayless said he’d spoken with several people close to the Browns QB and was convinced Johnny was an alcoholic.
Johnny Manziel, won the Heisman Trophy as a freshman QB for Texas A&M where his play-making skills earned him his “Johnny Football” nickname, has faced questions for several years about a penchant for partying.
The 22-year-old endured an extremely rocky rookie 2014 season. After being selected by the Browns with the 22nd overall pick in the 2014 draft, Manziel, in five games, including two starts completed 18 of 35 passes for 175 yards and no touchdowns with two interceptions.
Manziel made his first start on Dec 14 against Cincinnati, but he appeared unprepared and over-matched as the Bengals defense harassed him into two interceptions, The next week, Manziel started at Carolina, but got hurt on a running play and sat out the season finale.
Interviews by ESPN.com with nearly 20 Browns sources, talked of a yearlong pattern that showed a lack of commitment and preparation, routinely late for meetings, lacking to study the playbook and a failure to be ready when given a chance. Manziel continued his dedication to nightlife, which affected his preparation and work while he was in the team facility.
“I brought this on myself,” Manziel said the day after the season ended. “I brought these cameras and all these people that are in this locker room right now, and I don’t think it’s fair to myself, I don’t think it’s fair to anybody in this locker room the distractions I’ve brought at points in time.”
Manziel, who was expected to be in rehab at least a few weeks, has already exceeded predictions on his length of stay.
A source said the Browns are tentatively expecting Manziel to participate in training camp but are not placing any timetables on other off-season activities as Manziel works through his treatment process.
“Johnny knows there are areas in which he needs to improve in order to be a better family member, friend and teammate and he thought the off-season was the right time to take this step.”
– Statement from Cleveland Browns
The fact of the matter is Manziel, 22, will need to change several aspects of his life to stay on the right path after he leaves rehab. It’s doubtful he’ll ever become successful in the NFL if he can’t conquer his issues off the field. After sitting on the bench behind veteran Brian Hoyer until December, Manziel proved to be overwhelmed in his six quarters as a starter last season and the Browns scored just three points.
“The first step is him,” said George Whitfield, Junior, Manzeil’s quarterback coach. “He’s rewiring himself. He’s standing back up, and once you do that, then you can run and do other things with your career and the things that you love to do. And, yes, he’s capable. People have seen that. That’s well-documented. It’s hard to go be spectacular with the helmet on when day in and day out, you’re struggling with it off. And he’s tackling that, so I’m excited for it.”