Former NFL Player Tony Mandarich Speaks at Substance Abuse Conference

By  | 

The Eleventh Annual Wyoming Methamphetamine and Substance Abuse conference is held this week to help control Wyoming's drug problem.

Former NFL player Tony Mandarich was a key note speaker at the meth and substance abuse conference in Casper.

"I was named as one of the best college offensive lineman to ever come out of college football."

But after signing with the Greenbay Packers, his career was short lived.

“And really fell on my face because of the addiction and um... so it was humbling.” said Mandarich

Substance abuse professionals know all too well the potent draw of drugs... And their task is made more and more difficult with constantly changing substances... Especially with marijuana

“It’s basically marijuana in a wax like form but it’s extremely concentrated. Your THC levels are about 5 to 8 times higher than what your normal TCH levels would be.” said Jermaine Galloway, an Idaho Law Enforcement Officer.

Mandarich was an adult when the problem struck him but adults aren't the only ones who suffer.

“Hopefully early identification will change the trajectory of that child's like. So instead of saying we'll see you in 15 years, we're picking that child up and saying this stops here today.” said Eric Nation of National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children

While the goal of this week's conference is to avoid stories like Mandarich's. He's grateful his story can help change lives.

“It was humbling but I don't regret any of it because a lot of that pain and emotional pain brought me to my bottom and shaped the person I am today.” said Mandarich.

Reporter’s Note: The person titled in the video broadcast as Eric Nelson was incorrect. It is Eric Nation.