Jim Irsay arrest video sparks conversation on substance abuse

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By Kendall Downing

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - It's the video making headlines across the country. Friday, Hamilton County authorities released dash cam video of Colts owner Jim Irsay's arrest back in March.

Irsay was barely able to stand while being arrested for drugged driving.

FOX59 is examining the impact of the video going public. Once again, it's spurring a lot of conversations about substance abuse.

One look at the video, and it's easy to tell Jim Irsay is under the influence of something. After the March traffic stop in Carmel, police found pills and cash in his car and arrested him.

Irsay plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of Operating While Intoxicated in September.

"When a video like this comes out, it's likely that people will be sitting around the dinner table talking about it," said Scott Watson, with Heartland Intervention.

Watson is a substance abuse counselor. He's familiar with addiction and its effects. He said the release of the video Friday should be a conversation starter, a call to action for people who need help or have a loved one in need of treatment.

"A lot of us have people we know that struggle with substance abuse, so if we can use a video like this to get them help, then in fact some good might come of it," he said.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse said 8.76 million people abused prescription pills in 2010. And in 2012, 23.1 million Americans needed help for drug or alcohol addiction but only 2.5 million sought it at a facility.

Irsay broke his silence Wednesday since his arrest and NFL suspension.

"I've really taken it a day at a time, and I really look forward to moving forward," he said then.

Watson said it's a daily fight for those cleaning up their lives.

"The reality is for everybody that's in recovery, it's a day-by-day battle, and some days are easier than others," he said.

You can call 211 in central Indiana for resources available for those with alcohol or drug abuse issues.

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