Ex-Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson opens up about drug addiction: 'I got hooked'

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Cocaine. Marijuana. Pills. Alcohol.

Former Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson opened up about his addictions in a story published Monday for The Players' Tribune.

Wilson, who wrote last year about his struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder, said he regretted not sharing his experiences with drug addiction sooner. The death of his friend, former NHL player Jimmy Hayes, in August prompted Wilson to share his struggles, he said.

Hayes' autopsy showed his cause of death was a result of "acute intoxication due to the combined effects of fentanyl and cocaine," according to the Boston Globe.

Former Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson
Former Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson

"Everything that I’d suppressed about my own addiction came flooding into my mind," he wrote. "I’m two-and-a-half years sober — and in a way, I guess, I thought I had beat it. But you never beat it. You just live with it. And what happened to Jimmy … it could have happened to any of us. It could have happened to me."

Wilson said what began as a sleeping pill addiction when he was 20 soon gatewayed into other addictions to marijuana and cocaine, all stemming, Wilson said, from his OCD.

He said he took the drugs so he could feel, but often would wonder after a bender whether he would wake up the next morning.

Wilson said he's taking courses for a degree in psychology in his effort to further help those with addictions.

"I was a regular person just like you," he wrote. "But I got hooked, I got stuck. I didn’t know the way out."

Wilson said he finally got help at the end of the 2018-19 season, when he was with the Avalanche.

Wilson was picked seventh overall by the Predators in 2008 and spent the first eight seasons of his 11-year career with Nashville.

He had 95 goals and 142 assists in 502 career games with the team and helped lead the franchise to its only Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2016-17.

Reach Paul Skrbina at pskrbina@tennessean.com and follow him on Twitter @PaulSkrbina.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Colin Wilson, ex-NHL veteran, opens up about drug addiction