TEMPE, Ariz. -- Nearly six months after former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Max Hall was arrested for shoplifting from a Best Buy and possessing cocaine and drug paraphernalia, Hall called himself a "closet drug addict" in an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune.
Hall said as a player he turned to Oxycontin, cocaine and alcohol to help relieve the pain associated with concussions and shoulder surgeries. According to the article, Hall's usage of drugs and alcohol "got bad" during his two seasons with the Cardinals -- his rookie year of 2010 and the next season 2011, which ended when he was waived/injured that August.
Hall reportedly got clean and then reverted back to using drugs and alcohol over the next three years, which included a stint in the Canadian Football League.
"It put my life in a downward spiral," Hall said. "It was tough. ...I got caught up in it bad."
After his football career ended, Hall continued using Oxycontin.
"The cravings you have for it, I can't describe how nasty that is," he said.
Hall was the offensive coordinator at Gilbert High School in Arizona when he was arrested on Aug. 30, 2014. He said he doesn't remember much about that day other than sitting in the back of a police car after getting busted. Hall admitted to police he had used cocaine that day.
Hall called it the "lowest point of my life."
He said the magnitude of being arrested or the severity of his addition didn't settle in until a couple days after his arrest.
"It hit me," Hall said. "I thought, 'I'm tired of this s---. It's ruining my life.' I thought my wife [and two young kids] might leave me. That's when I realized I had to do whatever it took to get this done. But it was different than sports. You can't just get mad and will yourself to do it. That worked for me in football. But, with this, you need more than mental toughness.
"The hardest thing for me was, for the first time in my life, I had to be transparent, I had to be open and honest, I had to be humble. I had to dig deep and ask for help. I was powerless. I couldn't beat this thing on my own. I needed help. My wife and family supported me. The support [from friends] has been overwhelming. Humility is a big, big thing. I've been blessed to rise up out of that and get my life back in order."
Hall then added: "Chasing a pill or chasing a drink is a crappy way to live your life."
Hall went through three months of rehab and is still working on staying clean. The former BYU quarterback said 90 percent of the people he encounters have been helpful. Then he joked: "even Utah fans."
To help him stay sober, Hall said he has readings he goes through every day, attends Alcoholic Anonymous meetings, sees a counselor and is involved with his church.
"I'm lucky to be sober today, but tomorrow I could have a bad day and slip up," Hall said. "And it can happen that fast. I take it seriously and just do everything I need to do to stay sober."