Former NFL Quarterback Ray Lucas Talks Football And How Opioids Almost Took Everything From His Life
RAY LUCAS is a name well-known throughout the football world but especially here in New Jersey. A standout player at Harrison High School (All-State in Football & Basketball) he would go on to quarterback Rutgers from 1992-95, passing for nearly 6,000 yards (he is in the top five of several school passing records).
Despite not being drafted he played 7 seasons in the NFL with the Patriots, Jets, and Dolphins. His post-football career included a long stint as a radio color analyst for Rutgers football and several years ago he wrote a book “Under Pressure: How Playing Football Almost Cost Me Everything and Why I’d Do It Again.”
Currently, Ray is the Executive Director of the Harrison Housing Authority as well as the head coach at his alma mater, Harrison High School.
A big part of Ray’s post-football career has focused on the toll the game took on him…he has undergone more than two dozen surgeries during and after his playing days and became dependent on prescription opioids, at one point taking some 1,400 pills a month. He has spoken and written about his struggles with that and recently shared his experiences during a zoom chat with student-athletes at Lakewood High School through The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ in collaboration with the NJSIAA. Ray’s appearance at Lakewood was the first in a series of 10 events to be held throughout the state in which he will be the featured speaker.
In 2021 more than 3,000 people in New Jersey died of drug overdoses and many of them involved some form of opioid (prescription, heroin, or fentanyl).
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