Former NFL player shares addiction story to inspire others

A former NFL player from Bridgeport who lost everything after battling drugs is sharing his story for the first time ever to build awareness and inspire others who are struggling with addiction.

"I'm not big on telling people what they should be doing -- but I can show them what I'm doing," says Mike Jones, 55.

Jones led Harding High School to three state championships in the 1980s, eventually becoming a tight end for the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings.

But Jones says he eventually became addicted to cocaine and heroin, bottoming out in the mid 1990s and ending up in prison for drug-related crimes.

Now he's working in the addiction-recovery field, sharing his story at places like Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery, or C-CAR.

He says the key to a lasting recovery is wanting to get better.

"If I don't want to do it, no program's going to help me. No person, no daughter, no son, no mother -- if I'm not doing it for myself, nothing is going to work," says Jones.

Jones also played basketball and baseball and once got an offer to sign a contract with the New York Yankees. Now he says he's just grateful to be alive and well and helping others learn from his mistakes.