Carey Price opens up about his struggles with mental health and substance abuse
Canadiens / NHL  

Carey Price opens up about his struggles with mental health and substance abuse

He tells about his time in the NHL’s player assistance program.



In a generous interview offered to former players Guillaume Latendresse and Maxim Lapierre on their podcast, La Poche Bleue, earlier this week, Montreal Canadiens star goalie Carey Price opened up on his issues with alcohol consumption and mental health.

“I started drinking for fun when I would go out and have fun with the guys, and I thought I was very good, even excelled. But it reached a point where it wasn’t fun anymore and it had to stop,” Price admitted.

“I would wake up on Sunday mornings and tell myself I would never do this again in my life, but I kept doing it. I got to a point where I really needed to stop and I thought it was a good time to ask for help.”

The goalie explained how the NHL’s player assistance program was the right call for him, which he entered back in October 2021. He spoke about making that decision on the podcast.

“I just felt like it came to a point in my life where I really needed to stop. And I just thought this was a good time to ask for help,” Price explained. “I think that’s one of the hardest steps to breaking bad habits is realizing you need help and there’s nothing wrong with that. I think everybody asks for help in their life with whatever.

“I felt that at that time in my life, that was the appropriate move to make and I’m thankful that I did it. It’s worked out for me.”

During the time he spent at the treatment centre, Price spoke with others grappling with similar issues and is very grateful he could learn from their experiences as well.

“To be able to hear stories and connect with other people who were going through the same kind of hardships […] in their everyday lives and to be able to reset my brain and empower myself was really a turning point for me.”

As an NHL superstar, Price realized he was struggling with anxiety and the pressure to perform at all costs. His alcohol consumption was used to deal with the anxiety, but the netminder soon realized he was losing control.

“When I went out, I would drink a lot to be socially comfortable. I’m very introverted and I get anxiety when we’re in large groups. You wouldn’t think that, but that’s just the way I am, and it led me to drink excessively.”

“So, to be able to change my approach when I go to social events and be able to be me, it’s been a really good change,” Price proudly stated.

With his career most likely over due to a lingering knee injury that he is reluctant to get a procedure, Price can focus on his recovery and share his experience with addiction and mental struggles, and will surely inspire other hockey players.

“For a lot of NHL players. I think that’s probably the hardest first step. It’s probably the hardest first step for most people that are struggling, is the judgment from others,” Price explained. “Once you get past that and understand that people aren’t judging you and you can be able to take pride.

While there is a sense that retirement is coming sooner than a 713th game in the NHL, Price is signed through 2025-26 in Montreal. In his entire career with the Habs, he has led Montreal to 361 wins, put up five seasons with a save percentage topping .920, posted 49 career shutouts. He was also awarded the Hart Trophy, Vezina Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award, William M. Jennings Trophy and, in 2021-22, he took home the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.

Truly inspiring.

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