1870 Mag

Former Buckeye Overcomes Drug Addiction, Continues Football Career

Former Ohio State University football player whose career blossomed and fell apart in the NFL, Shane Olivea, has overcome his painkiller addiction and is seeking a career as a college coach.

Olivea told the Columbus Dispatch that he was high every day of his NFL career after his rookie year, and that he had spend over $500,000 in painkillers to feed his addiction.

“At my height on Vicodin, I would take 125 a day,” he said to the Dispatch. “It got to the point I would take a pile of 15 Vicodin and would have to take them with chocolate milk. If I did it with water or Gatorade, I’d throw it up.”

Olivea’s family initiated an intervention and he was finally able to bring himself to a drug rehab center where doctors told him he was lucky to be alive.

After leaving the Chargers, he signed on with the New York Giants, and then was released again after a back injury. He re-enrolled at OSU and graduated with a degree in sports industry, which he hopes to use as a college coach to help players on the field, as well as players who may be dealing with addiction.

“If you got it, you can spot it,” Olivea said to the Dispatch. “I can spot an addict in a public setting. I know the behavior. I know the tendencies. I know what he’s going to do. I’ll be able to notice somebody going down that slippery path and maybe catch them.”



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