Alcoholics come from all different walks of life and social classes. Sometimes it’s your boss, friend, or a neighbor, other times, it’s a loved one or even a celebrated star or athlete, as is the case with Jordan Poyer. What began as college drinking progressed into full-blown alcoholism until he decided it was time for a change. Here’s his story:
Jordan Poyer is a rare talent who excels at pretty much everything. He was an All-American Oregon State player who was drafted in 2013 by the Philadelphia Eagles before heading off to spend three years playing for the Cleveland Browns. That lasted until 2017, when he relocated to his current home on the roster as safety for the Buffalo Bills. But what many people don’t realize is that he was also drafted as a high schooler in 2009 to play for the Florida Marlins MLB team.
While playing in Buffalo, he stepped up and became a player in every sense of the word. So much so that he even helped the team reach the playoffs during his first year with the Bills. Even though they lost the Wild Card game that year, the team returned to the playoffs in 2019 and 2020. And it was this 2019 loss to the Houston Texans that pushed JustiPoyer over the proverbial edge.
Rightfully, the entire Bills team was mortified after this loss. But Poyer took the loss personally and was so disappointed at how he performed in the game that he went on a five-day bender immediately after. It remained this way for at least the next five weeks, where he drank every day.
As we mentioned, Jordan Poyer began drinking while enrolled in college at Oregon State. Though this is common for many college-aged adults, his problem persisted for years. It started with having a few drinks occasionally and eventually progressed into him drinking daily while on the roster for the Eagles, Browns, and subsequently the Bills.
He would attend team parties where drinking would be present, but he took it further than that. Poyer would drink on his off days and use any excuse to turn to alcohol. He wouldn’t just drink to hang out with his friends; he used alcohol to avoid the issues in his life. For him, drinking was a way to run from his problems rather than face them head-on. He reached a point where he was drinking during the day and could not function normally by the afternoon. Poyer couldn’t even play with his four-year-old daughter because he was too intoxicated.
Yet, deep down, he knew that he had fans, family, friends, his wife, and daughter who looked up to him, and something needed to change. He even recalled his wife crying and begging him to put the beer down. But he admitted that he used the word ‘beer’ nicely because he didn’t just drown himself in beer. Poyer would drink tequila, wine, or whatever else was available at that moment to drown out his sorrows.
Jordan Poyer’s Path To Sobriety
Jordan Poyer was lucky because he had a stable support system around him. He used the support of his friends and family, especially his mother, to begin attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. These meetings helped him put his life into perspective. And as most of us know, speaking openly among others who have been down this road and reached recovery is vital for overcoming addiction.
Yet, attending AA meetings didn’t just help him get a good perspective of his life; it also led him to want to help others in the same situation. At first, Poyer never planned on talking publicly about his alcoholism and sobriety. However, a player who he admired, Vincent Jackson, passed away unexpectedly on February 5, 2021, at only 38-years old. The medical examiner’s office later found that Jackson’s death’s primary cause was chronic alcoholism.
Once this information became public, Poyer knew he had a large fan base which enabled him to speak out in hopes of helping others. He now speaks with people around the world who are going through the same challenges which he overcame. Since he began, one success story he shared was about a banker living most people’s dream life. This banker had a nice home, cars, children, a beautiful wife, a stable job, and everything he could possibly ask for in life, yet he turned to alcohol as an outlet for thirty years. That was until he heard Poyer’s story and decided to check himself into a rehab center to get the help he needed.
This is the first of many successful recovery stories Poyer hopes that he can take part in. He’s motivated to stay sober for the sake of his family and career but also to continue helping others. He has remained sober for over a year now and looks forward to many more years like this.
Photo Attribution: Tennessee Titans, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons