Jon Jones' rehab stint lasted just a day; simply a charade

Kevin Iole
Cagewriter

There are a lot of things which can occur in one day. Being cured of a drug problem isn't one of them. At least it's not for most people, but apparently UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones must be an exception.

Jon Jones (front facing) grapples with Daniel Comier during UFC 182. (Getty)
Jon Jones (front facing) grapples with Daniel Comier during UFC 182. (Getty)

According to his mother, Jones' stay in a drug treatment center in New Mexico lasted all of one night. And that makes everything that went down last week after news broke that Jones tested positive for benzoylecgonine, the main metabolite in cocaine, seems like nothing more than a publicity stunt and/or an effort at damage control.

Camille Jones told Travis Eldridge of WBNG TV in Binghamton, N.Y., on Monday, that her son would attend the AFC championship game on Sunday in Foxborough, Mass., to watch his brothers play. His older brother, Arthur, is a defensive tackle for Colts and his younger brother, Chandler, is a defensive end for the Patriots.

She said she felt being caught would help her middle son kick any problem he may have:

I'm glad that this happened to Jon, this stopped him in his tracks, this let him know that he may need to change some friends, you know, because everyone is not for you for the best.

There is a legitimate question of whether Jones even has a drug issue. He tested positive for cocaine in a test that he shouldn't have been given on Dec. 4, but hasn't been linked to other credible reports of drug usage. Certainly, his performance in the cage hasn't suffered. 

Here is Jones' timeline:

Dec. 4, 2014 -- Administered two random drug tests by the Salt Lake City-based Sports Medicine Research & Testing Laboratory in Albuquerque, N.M., where he was training for his bout at UFC 182 against Daniel Cormier at the behest of the Nevada Athletic Commission. The commission intended for Jones to be screened only for performance-enhancing drugs, but because of what was described as an administrative error, he was also tested for street drugs.

Dec. 18, 2014 -- While training in Albuquerque, Jones is administered the second test, a PED screen done by SMRTL.

Dec. 23, 2014 -- The commission receives the form from SMRTL reporting the failure of the Dec. 4 test. Commission chairman Francisco Aguilar tells his peers that if the results of the Dec. 18 screen also show cocaine in Jones' system, they'll be facing a huge problem.

Dec. 30, 2014 -- The commission receives the report from SMRTL in which Jones passed the Dec. 18 test. The form shows that Jones was screened for street drugs, but the commission says that was not the case and that a second test for street drugs did not occur.

Dana White looks on as Marcus Brimage and Cody Garbrandt face off during the weigh in for their bantamweight bout. (USA TODAY Sports)
Dana White looks on as Marcus Brimage and Cody Garbrandt face off during the weigh in for their bantamweight bout. (USA TODAY Sports)

Jan. 1, 2015 -- UFC president Dana White meets with a small group of media at the MGM Grand to speak about the upcoming Jones-Cormier fight. Asked by Yahoo Sports if he was still following through on plans to develop his own drug-testing regimen, White said no and said the UFC planned to give money to state athletic commissions to allow them to do it. He said, "What we'll do is we'll help fund it, so they can do more drug testing. ... We've got no business handling the regulation."

Jan. 3, 2015 -- Jones defeats Cormier by unanimous decision at UFC 182 to retain the light heavyweight title. He also submits to another drug test, which is mandatory for all fighters on the day of an event. That will screen him for both street drugs and PEDs. The results of that test still have not been returned to the commission.

Jan. 6, 2015 -- Yahoo Sports reports that Jones tested postitive for benzoylecgonine and had entered rehabilitation.

Jan. 7, 2015 -- White appears on UFC Tonight on Fox Sports 1. Asked by co-host Brian Stann what punishment, if any, Jones would face, White said, "Right now, all we're concerned with is getting Jon better. I'm not worried about the title or any of that stuff right now, any of the fights. It's about getting him taken care of, getting him healed and getting him better."

Jan. 8, 2015 -- The Nevada commission reports that SMRTL did carbon isotope ratio testing on his samples taken Dec. 4 and Dec. 18 in a search for synthetic testosterone. Jones passes those tests.

Jan. 12, 2015 -- WBNG TV does an interview with Jones' mother, Camille, in which she reveals that Jones only spent one day in rehabilitation.

on Jones (L) jokes around with his brother Arthur, then a member of the Ravens. (Getty)
on Jones (L) jokes around with his brother Arthur, then a member of the Ravens. (Getty)

The fact that Jones went into a drug treatment facility could mean one of two things: Either he has a substance abuse problem and he and members of his team recognized it and made an effort to get help.

Or, he was simply a recreational/occasional drug user who was not an addict and didn't use drugs regularly, but who agreed to go into rehabilitation to make it appear as if something was being done.

Every person is treated differently and every problem is unique to the individual. But it defies logic that anyone with an abuse problem could be successfully treated as an in-patient in one day.

Even if there is ongoing out-patient treatment, that one-day stay makes it seem much more like a public relations ploy rather than a significant attempt to solve a problem.

According to Rehabs.com, it isn't a quick process:

There isn't a set period of time that applies to everyone when it comes to rehabilitation. Some addicts may need a 90-day stay at an inpatient treatment facility to truly find their path in recovery, whereas others may only need a 30-day program. It simply varies according to the addiction in question, the individual's history with addiction, dual diagnosis conditions, and the individual's specific physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs.

Studies find that those who spend longer amounts of time in rehabilitation programs achieve better rates of long-term sobriety. This is because more time spen[t] at a treatment facility means more opportunity to focus on the root causes behind the addiction. If these issues are effectively addressed, the individual is more likely to be able to resist temptations to relapse.

Drug and alcohol addiction treatment doesn't conclude after the patient exits the rehabilitation program, regardless of its duration. Recovery is an ongoing process that will continue for the rest of the patient's life. Long-term recovery often involves ongoing therapy, both in individual and group form, and attendance at 12-step meetings.

The key thing here, if Jones truly has a problem, is to get him the help he needs and make sure he's able to overcome his addiction. This, though, is nothing to base a public relations or face-saving campaign around.

Sadly, given Jones' one-day stay in the treatment center, that's exactly what it looks like. It gives every indication this is nothing more than an effort at spinning the problem to make it seem as if action was being taken when Jones was unable to be punished because of the positive test.

 

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