Winning Ways

NFL player-turned-addiction counselor Bob Newton inspires prep athletes

A former offensive lineman for the National Football League’s Chicago Bears and Seattle Seahawks, Bob Newton is quick to tell young athletes he tackled his biggest foe off the field— when he faced the disease of addiction.

Today, as an addiction counselor at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California, Newton, MS, LAADAC, CADAC II, is a popular speaker at high school and college athletic programs around the country. He shares a powerful message about his own struggle with addiction and how drugs such as alcohol and marijuana can derail plans for athletic success. Newton was welcomed with open arms in June as the featured speaker at the first Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation–wide alumni event held at Hazelden in Chicago. Earlier in the day, he inspired members of the nationally recognized Mount Carmel High School football team.

“Bob played for the Chicago Bears from 1971–1976, and the young athletes were thrilled to hear from him,” said Ramsen Kasha, executive director of Hazelden in Chicago. “He talked about the promise and possibility of recovery—and his honest and hopeful message really hit home with the young people.”

 Bob Newton has been featured in the Chicago Sun-Times and the Daily Herald.

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