When Someone You Love Spirals Out of Control, When Do You Stay and When Do You Go?

Both former NBA star Lamar Odom and USC football coach Steve Sarkisian allegedly suffered substance-abuse-related breakdowns this week. Odom is now fighting for his life, and Sarkisian has lost his job. (Photos: Getty Images) 

On Tuesday night, news broke that former NBA star Lamar Odom was found unconscious at a Nevada brothel, seemingly of a drug or alcohol overdose. Though the two are still legally married, Khloe Kardashian left the basketball star after five years together in 2013, reportedly over his struggle with substance abuse and, primarily, his addiction to cocaine

Odom remains in critical condition, still unconscious, with Kardashian by his side after she rushed to Las Vegas upon hearing the news. 

Earlier this week, University of Southern California football coach Steve Sarkisian was fired, allegedly as a result of his own struggle with alcoholism and his violation of the school’s zero-tolerance policy regarding alcohol use. He was on his way to a treatment facility when USC’s athletic director attempted to inform him of his firing for cause.

Sarkisian, who is in the middle of a divorce, is reportedly struggling to cope with it. The 41-year-old has three children with his estranged wife. 

Also this week, reality TV star Scott Disick, the former boyfriend of Kourtney Kardashian and father of her children, checked into rehab to get help for his addiction problems. His struggle with alcohol was a frequent theme in Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

We can’t pretend to know the inside details of the lives of these stars. But their situation is one we can relate to. Many of us have someone in our lives who has gone off the deep end because of substance abuse, mental illness, or other circumstances. 

Your relationship changes. One of you grows distant. The other does not know whether to stay and attempt to protect, or leave to preserve his or her own sanity. If you stay, you may be miserable, but if you go, they’re on their own and you’ll never…

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