Jon Jones Leaves Rehab After One Day

This is not good news.

Since Jones’ positive test was revealed, the MMA blogosphere has been circulating the supposedly informed rumor that the positive test did not come as a surprise to people who know Jones well and that they are frankly surprised he didn’t pop sooner.

Leaving rehab after one day does not bode well for Jones. His positive test was big news and his immediate response to that news of acknowledging a problem and seeking to get help rather than complaining that the test was wrong or whatever, generated a lot of goof will for him. So after making such a public issue out of checking into rehab, it is a big deal and a PR nightmare that he chose to leave after one day. Since I have some experience in the drug rehab business (not as a patient), I have some speculation about what might have happened here, and none of it is good.

First, he might be jonesing (no pun intended) for a fix. For those unfamiliar with the language, jonesing means intense cravings. It is easy to talk about getting clean and sober, but when faced with the reality of doing that the cravings can become overwhelming. The craving mind always says “I’ll just go get one more hit, then I’ll be ready.” The reality is that one more hit turns into many and there is never a good time to stop until you face serious consequences if you don’t. What AA and NA call “hitting rock bottom.”

Second, a good rehab should be a leveling experience. I’m pretty sure Jones checked into a rehab that is used to dealing with celebrities. Those places know how to deal with the press and the sometimes unique needs of celebrities, but if they are good there is still one set of rules that everyone has to play by. This is for the good of the group milieu, and the good of the patient. The celebrity addict is no better than or different from the lawyer addict or the construction worker addict or the homeless addict when it comes to the workings of the addiction. Celebrity livers get pickled just the same as lawyer livers. Celebrity nasal septums get perforated just like construction worker septums. Some people don’t respond well to the rules, and you can imagine how this might be harder for celebrities who are used to being catered to. “What do you mean I can’t have my cell phone?” “What do you mean I can only get a shower between 7 and 9?” Etc.

Third, he may be overconfident in his ability to stay sober and left because he didn’t feel he needed the program. There is always the possibility that this is true, but if you deal with addicts enough you recognize a pattern. The ones who are the most confident in their ability to stay clean and sober, usually the newbies, are the ones you have the least confidence will be able to do it. It’s a good thing to have a healthy skepticism and fear about your ability to stay sober. The ones who have been through the process a few times are more likely to get this. This is why AA encourages the concept of “one day at a time” instead of confident proclamations that “I’ll never drink again.”

Jones apparently made some comment about wanting to see his brothers play each other in the upcoming playoff game. This sounds like typical addict excuse making. Yes watching your brothers play against each other for a chance to go to the Super Bowl is a big deal, but given the circumstances of his admission, does not warrant aborting his rehab. And he didn’t seem to indicate, from what I have seen, that he planned to go back to rehab afterwards.

The overall picture you get is of a hard headed guy who is going to do things his own way. Jones is not stupid, so he had to know that the pressure to stay, from his family, from the UFC, from his camp, etc. was intense, and that there would be a backlash against him leaving. In this context, leaving after one night is even more rash than it otherwise would be.

Let’s pray for the best here. The last thing we need is another extremely gifted athlete whose career is cut short by addiction.

7 thoughts on “Jon Jones Leaves Rehab After One Day

  1. Christopher

    In fact, Godspeed. I never understood the fixation with negro SEC football and MMA.
    Red laudes Jon Jones. Tchaikovsky laughed at. Farewell.


  2. redphillips Post author

    My fixation with SEC football is the product of me being a normal red-blooded male from the South. Liking college football is what we do down here. Not liking college football is what is odd and requires explanation.

    My fixation with MMA, which whites have generally excelled at I might add compared to boxing for example, is the product of me being a testosterone addled red-blooded male who likes all sports (and sports entertainment) that are combative in nature. This fixation is less obviously regional, but goes back to the start. I was renting UFC videos from Block Buster before you could even get them on pay-per-view.

    The reason that I don’t listen to Tchaikovsky is the same. I am a red-blooded Southern male and that is not what we do. In addition to what I am, I am also not a poseur or a homosexual. I’m sure there are people that truly like Tchaikovsky, but a lot of people who say they do do so as an affectation. “Look how sophisticated I am!” And the rest of us normal people are saying, “Yeah, look how gay you are.”

    What is irregular is being so fixated on race that it warps all other considerations.

    Hmmm… I wonder if I know who you are? You posturing reminds me of someone.


  3. redphillips Post author

    I assume this is what is being referred to.

    It suggests to me that Jones did not understand what Sonnen was up to, which was working the mic like a WWE wrestler so as to build hype for the fight, which he did. Sonnen vs. Silva I became a big fight solely because Sonnen worked the mic like a pro. Before that everyone thought Silva was fighting a nobody who stumbled into a title shot because Silva had already cleared the field.


  4. Kirt Higdon

    In the final analysis, it is up to Jones to decide whether or not he has a problem and how to solve it. If he wrecks his career over cocaine, he won’t be the first nor last entertainer or athlete to do so. Since cocaine is not banned under Nevada’s MMA rules, why should a residual amount in his bloodstream have even been publicized? And for a broader question, why are drugs even tested for in competitions? The two answers usually given are dangerous side effects and giving some competitors an unfair advantage. But the side effects of the drugs are generally less dangerous than the side effects of the sport itself or the training for it. And some competitors always have advantages over others – in genetics, diet, training, etc. If everyone were permitted to use drugs according to their best judgment, what would be unfair about that?



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s