On his Facebook page, Ray Lucas uses a photo from an old New York Daily News cover with the headline "King of Pain."
Lucas is finding he's not in command at all.
The former New York Jets and Miami Dolphins quarterback made a public confession on Facebook that he has been addicted to painkillers from injuries accumulated throughout his six-year career. Lucas suffered intense headaches, back spasms, sciatica and depression.
Pain Alternatives, Solutions and Treatments -- a New Jersey medical group that specializes in helping retired athletes -- performed neck surgery on Lucas in September and has been assisting his attempt to conquer addiction.
Lucas checked into a rehab facility in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Feb. 5 and still resides there. He has been using Facebook as a journal of his recovery.
His entries aren't Hallmark greetings.
Two weeks ago, I first wrote about Lucas' decision to enter treatment and share his thoughts with the world. Since then, he has provided four more updates about his journey. Fellow recovering addict and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers center Randy Grimes is among those helping him.
Here are Lucas' three latest entries, unedited (aside from a profanity):
Feb. 12: Today marks 1 week since Randy Grimes & Jen Smith brought me to treatment for pain killer dependency due to my NF L injuries & depression. I am hangin in there. The 1st week has been difficult because of my pain. I had no idea how much pain I was in because the amount of medication I was taking . They are helping me with the pain with massage & acupuncture. I have started going to group & I am fighting the good fight
Thursday: A day ago I was packing my s--- & wanted to leave. I can't sleep & the pain is getting to me. The lead Doc talked me down & explained that my brain was in a craving mode & the thoughts of leaving were tied to that. It was enlightening & I am feeling better. P.A.S.T/ BHOP brought in another ret. NFL player into the player program Sunday. There are so many of us out there. This place & the program are saving lives.
Tuesday night: I have been adjusting to things here. I feel like I am turning the corner. I am beginning to understand what the pain killer use was doing to my brain & what a cunning disease this is . I want to be a better husband , better father. P.A.S.T. & BHOP brought another former NF player in to treatment & two others are on their way here. We will all work together as group , looking forward to that.