Hackett in rehab?

hackett-pool

Grant Hackett has flown this week to America to seek treatment for a reputed addiction to prescription medication, following an intervention staged by family and friends.

Although it has not been confirmed, it is thought that Hackett’s treatment will attempt to break an addiction to sleeping medication Stilnox, which the Westpac executive labelled “evil” in 2012.

hackett-laWhen Hackett was met by a media pack in LA after landing, he denied that he would be going to rehab, instead saying that he would be taking time to rest and relax after a stressful period in his personal life.

Contrary to this denial, Hackett’s father has told the media that his son would be seeking treatment at a rehabilitation facility. Neville Hackett claimed that the swimmer is in “a little bit of denial” over his addiction.

Last week, Grant Hackett was pictured in a near-nude state in Melbourne Crowne casino – apparently searching for one his children in the building’s foyer. In the past, Hackett has endured a number of personal problems, including a difficult split in 2012 from wife Candice Alley after allegations of alcohol-fuelled violence and intimidation.

Hackett’s latest personal troubles closely follow a 60 Minutes interview with two-time Olympic medallist Scott Miller, which explored the swimmer’s own history of drug abuse and pimping.

Completing the trifecta, of course, is Ian Thorpe, who was recently admitted to a Sydney rehabilitation clinic after police confronted him a daze-like state near his parents’ home in southern Sydney.

This has caused some journalists to remark on the correlation between the intense training regimes these athletes work under, and the challenges they face outside the pool. The likes of Thorpe, Miller and Hackett undertake taxing training schedules at very young ages. Just like child stars of the entertainment world, they’re not given the same opportunities to try and fail, to embarrass ourselves without widespread criticism, and to simply grow up that we normal folk are.

Being lauded as a national hero, only to be largely forgotten by the press and the public (save for the occasional negative scandal) after retirement, is sure to be emotionally and mentally draining. Then there’s the “what next?” question. Apart from the option of a commentating/media career, there are few obvious avenues open to ex-sportspeople.

For years, Australia has prided itself on its prowess in the pool. But at what cost?

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