Former baseball star Kazuhiro Kiyohara speaks at drug addiction awareness event

Kazuhiro Kiyohara, 51, a former baseball star who was arrested for possessing and using stimulant drugs in 2016, made an appearance as a special guest at an event to raise awareness of drug addiction in Tokyo this week.
The event was held by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare to abolish prejudice toward drug addiction as well as provide support for addicts and their families, Sankei Shimbun reported. The ministry asked Kiyohara to attend the event at the recommendation of doctors and researchers who helped him.
Kiyohara told the audience of 180 people, “I immediately decided to attend as I want to be of help to people who are suffering as I am. Abstaining from drugs for a continuous period of time is difficult to do on your own. I urge anyone with a drug addiction to have courage and seek help.”
Kiyohara, a former Seibu Lions and Yomiuri Giants slugger, was sentenced by the Tokyo District Court in May 2016 to two years and six months in prison, suspended for four years.
He said he began using drugs because he could not deal with the stress and anxiety he experienced after retiring in 2008.

© Japan Today/Kyodo
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