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Garrett Reid's death sparks renewed look at substance abuse

In light of Garrett Reid's sudden death, a substance abuse expert discusses the difficulties recovering addicts face.

Garrett Reid, son of Eagles coach Andy Reid, will be laid to rest tomorrow, but the medical examiner has yet to release a cause of death.

The 29-year-old's body was discovered Sunday in a dorm room at Lehigh University where the Eagles are holding training camp. Lehigh University Police Chief Ed Shupp said there was no sign of foul play.

By numerous accounts, the younger Reid seemed to be turning his life around after bouts with substance abuse and legal problems in 2007. During that tumultuous year, Garrett Reid was arrested on drug charges and later sentenced to two years in a drug rehab program and three years probation about being caught smuggling pills into prison.

Since leaving rehab, he had worked as an assistant to strength and conditioning coach Barry Rubin. He had planned begin studies in sports management in the fall, the family said.

Although there has been no official word, Garrett Reid's sudden death has put the spotlight on substance abuse.

Dr. Kyle Kampman, medical director of the Charles O’Brien Center for Addiction Treatment at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine, said relapses are not unusual for opiate-dependent patients.

"We hope that the remission lasts forever, but we know that in most cases it won’t," Kampman said. To treat such a condition, he said, experts usually suggest counseling, twelve-step programs and prescribed medication.

Despite such a careful treatment plan, Kampman said that people, places and things often remind recovering addicts of getting high, which triggers a desire to use.

"Most people who physically relapse, it's a craving that triggers most relapses," he said.

Services for Garrett Reid will be 10 a.m. Tuesday at Church of the Latter Day Saints of Jesus Christ in Broomall, Pa.

 
 
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