Dennis Rodman Looks for a Rebound in Rehab - Sovereign Health Group
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01-22-14 Category: Alcohol Addiction

Dennis Rodman, 52, has checked into a New Jersey alcohol treatment center where he will go through at least 30 days of rehabilitation for alcohol addiction, following backlash regarding comments in an interview with CNN about a trip he made to North Korea in early January.

Rodman – a basketball Hall of Fame member who won five NBA championships while playing for the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls – was known as D-Rod and The Worm during his playing days. He was also known for being a flamboyant dresser and a colorful, often controversial, character.

Basketball Diplomacy

Rodman has made four recent trips to North Korea, the latest one to play in an exhibition game with other retired NBA players. Rodman said the game was a birthday present for dictator and basketball fan Kim Jon Un. Rodman sang “Happy Birthday” to Kim in the stadium before the game, and called him a “friend for life.” During the trip, Rodman expressed his “love” for the North Korean leader.

During the CNN interview, Rodman was asked if he planned to speak up on behalf of American missionary and tour operator Kenneth Bae, who was arrested in November 2012 while leading a tour group in North Korea. Bae was accused of “crimes against the state” and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.

Rodman responded by defending Kim and suggesting that Bae was somehow to blame for his imprisonment. The interview has been characterized as expletive-filled and sometimes incoherent. Rodman subsequently apologized in an email to The Associated Press, taking responsibility for his actions, noting that he was stressed, upset and had been drinking before the interview. Rodman also apologized to Bae’s family, his teammates, and his own management team. His agent, Darren Prince, said Rodman also drank heavily on his trip.

Backlash Against Rodman

When Rodman’s flight landed in Beijing on the way back to the U.S., he was met by reporters critical of his apparent friendship with Kim. Rodman broke into tears while responding to questions from the hostile reporters. Rodman has been criticized and ridiculed for his efforts at “basketball diplomacy” and lack of concern about Kim’s heavy-handed, authoritarian government.

Kim – who represents the third generation of his family to hold power – has been condemned by groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. In December, 2013, Kim’s uncle and former mentor was arrested and executed.

Rodman’s history includes arrests for drunk driving in 1999 and 2004, and a stint as an outpatient at a Florida treatment center in 2008. He also appeared on the TV show Celebrity Rehab during its third season, in 2009.

There were reports in 2012 claiming that Rodman was broke, which the former basketball star denied. That was also the year he launched “Dennis Rodman – The Original Bad Ass Premium Vodka.”

The Relapse Cycle

The drug and alcohol abuse and treatment cycle is not one that Rodman alone faces. Many people with addiction and substance abuse problems enter treatment, only to relapse shortly after returning home. Addiction has a relapse rate between 40 and 90 percent. Although this may seem high, it is a similar relapse rate for chronic illnesses that require ongoing maintenance, such as diabetes and heart disease.

One of the main reasons people with substance abuse or addiction problems relapse is that they have co-occurring or underlying issues that were not addressed during their treatment. It is estimated that 8.9 million people in America have a substance abuse or addiction problem and a co-occurring mental health condition, but only 7.8 percent will get treatment for both conditions and 55.8 percent will receive no treatment at all. If both conditions are not concurrently treated, then the person will often return to using drugs and/or alcohol to self-medicate for the mental health disorder.

Another important part of recovery is aftercare. The early days of recovery are often the hardest, as a person returns to his or her daily life with its stressors and triggers. Without adequate support, such as aftercare and continued therapy, he or she will be at risk of relapsing.

About Sovereign Health Group

Sovereign Health Groups treats substance abuse and mental health, including all underlying conditions, as well as treating individuals who are diagnosed as having co-occurring conditions. Our treatment is customized for those who are addicted to alcohol, prescription medication or illegal drugs, as well as mental health or eating disorders. Using a foundation of evidence-based treatment, Sovereign Health provides holistic care to reduce the risk of relapse. As a supplement to our treatment, we offer our clients T.E.A.M., or Technology Enhanced Aftercare and Monitoring, for online support anywhere, any time, after completing treatment.

Sovereign Health is headquartered in San Clemente, California. We are a facility that is dual-licensed for mental health and addiction treatment and are accredited by the Joint Commission .To learn more about our programs, call us at (866) 819-0427 or visit our website at

Dual Diagnosis Treatment – Jason Story from Sovereign Health Group on Vimeo.

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