Garrett Reid Struggled With Addiction for Years

Andy Reid's oldest son struggled for years with a drug addiction

By Karen Araiza
|  Tuesday, Aug 7, 2012  |  Updated 2:56 PM EDT
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    The oldest son of Eagle Coach Andy Reid was found dead in a dorm room at the team's training camp on Sunday in Bethlehem, Northampton County, Pa.

    The coroner who pronounced Reid dead at the scene said they are investigating Garrett's cause of death and the Lehigh University Chief of Police, Ed Shupp, says there were no suspicious activities at the scene. Philly.com reporter Jeff McLane tweeted Lehigh University police have ruled out suicide and foul play.

    The night before Garrett's funeral, Coach Andy Reid did release a statement saying that Garrett lost and eight-year battle and would always be remembered as a fighter.

    The reason the word "suspicious" would even come in this case is because of Garrett's history of drug abuse.

    In 2007, Garrett admitted he was high on heroin when he crashed into another car, injuring the driver. Coincidentally, that same morning, his brother Britt pointed a gun at another driver during a road rage incident.

    Coach Andy Reid took five weeks off that year to be with his family and accompanied his sons to drug rehab, according to the SpringfieldPatch.com.

    While he was out on bail, Garrett was re-arrested for failing a drug test. When he was brought back to jail, workers at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility discovered he had smuggled close to 90 pills into the jail by hiding them in his rectum.

    In November of 2007, Reid pleaded guilty in the DUI crash, telling the judge in front of his parents, "I don't want to die doing drugs. I don't want to be that kid who was the son of the head coach of the Eagles, who was spoiled and on drugs and OD'd and just faded into oblivion." He also said he had stopped selling drugs.

    When the judge sentenced Garrett Reid to 23 months in prison, he questioned whether Garrett and Britt should be living at home. Judge Steven O'Neill called the coach's home a drug emporium because of the illegal and prescription drugs found there during searches, according to ESPN. Their story talks about Garrett  Reid's fast descent into hard drugs. According to a probation report read in court:  

    Reid said he didn't use drugs until he graduated from high school but then started with marijuana and alcohol at age 18. That was followed by prescription pain killers Percocet and OxyContin and then cocaine and heroin.

    By 20, he was in drug rehab.

    Reid said he sold drugs to his friends and their parents in the suburbs and in a notoriously tough section of Philadelphia.

    "I liked being the rich kid in that area and having my own high-status life," Reid told a probation officer in a statement read by the judge. "I could go anywhere in the 'hood. They all knew who I was. I enjoyed it. I liked being a drug dealer."

    After spending seven months in prison, Garrett Reid was sent to a half-way house in the Juniata section of Philadelphia.

    In 2009, he was arrested again after flunking a drug test. Reid was 26 at the time and living at the Luzerne Treatment Center. He left one day on an approved pass and failed a drug test when he got back, according to county District Attorney, Risa Vetri-Ferman.

    In an exclusive interview with Philadelphia Magazine, Andy and wife Tammy Reid said they learned about Garrett's drug problems in 2002 when he came to them, asking for help.

    "He was clearly down and hurting. It saps you -- that's what it does. You're talking about a highly intelligent guy, a guy with a great personality. It takes that away."

    Tammy talks about one of Garrett's lowest points, when he was out in Arizona for six months, living out of his car and whittled down from 260 to 168 pounds, on a 6-foot-4-inch frame. Tammy said there were so many moments of hope and disappointment, rehabs and counseling sessions.

    "And you have no idea, as parents you have no idea what’s right and what’s wrong, what’s going to work and what’s not going to work. And so you take a stab at it, you talk to psychologists and psychiatrists and friends who have been through it, anybody, to come up with a solution, what you think is best, and it doesn’t always work. That’s the bottom line, it doesn’t always work."

    This summer, Garrett Reid was working at Eagles training camp, helping out the strength and conditioning coaches, according to NBC10's John Clark.

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