DETROIT (WWJ) – Former Major League Baseball superstar Darryl Strawberry was in Detroit Wednesday as the keynote speaker at a luncheon on addiction and recovery.

By any measure Strawberry had it all. Drafted first out of high school in 1980 by the New York Mets – he ended up an eight time All-Star and four time World Series Champion, one of the best hitters in baseball.

“I had a five million dollar contract,” Strawberry told a packed crowd at the Charles H. Wright African-American Museum at the inaugural Recovery Conference.

“I could not stop using. I still wasn’t happy.”

Strawberry Recovery (JHewett)Strawberry knew he was spiraling downward addicted to drugs and alcohol and felt powerless to change.

“My life was falling apart – I was losing my family – why can’t I stop using?” he asked. “I had everything, but I had nothing – I had a lot of stuff but I had nothing. What good does it do for a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul? That was me.”

Strawberry didn’t hit bottom until he spent time in a Florida prison years later.

Today he and his wife Tracy, both ordained Christian ministers, operate two drug treatment centers and travel the country, preaching and encouraging recovery.

“I go down to my treatment center and I see 18 and 19 year olds in treatment, I try to encourage them to be gratful that you have another chance to live.”

He hopes his story will lead others down the road to recovery and sobriety.

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