NHL Player Bobby Ryan Opens Up About Alcohol Addiction Relapse After Arrest at Airport: 'Never Again'

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Bobby Ryan #9 of the Ottawa Senators warms up prior to a game against the Vancouver Canucks at Canadian Tire Centre on February 27, 2020 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Bobby Ryan #9 of the Ottawa Senators warms up prior to a game against the Vancouver Canucks at Canadian Tire Centre on February 27, 2020 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty

NHL player Bobby Ryan, who has previously spoken about his battle with alcohol addiction, thanked fans for their support following his arrest for public intoxication at a Tennessee airport.

According to ESPN, the 35-year-old free agent was arrested at Nashville International Airport on July 25 after he allegedly tried to shoplift and appeared to be a danger to himself.

Ryan, who most recently played for the Detroit Red Wings, was arrested and released eight hours later, the outlet said. Charges against him were dismissed.

On Wednesday, Ryan addressed the incident on his Twitter page and expressed his gratitude to those who lent their support to him.

"Every now and again you're reminded exactly why social media exists and today is such a good reason," he wrote to his 19,000 followers. "Thank you guys all from the bottom of my heart. I hate that I'm here, but it's where I am and I'll own that."

Ryan was admitted into the joint NHL/NHLPA assistance program for treatment for alcohol abuse in Nov. 2019, after confirming a dependence on alcohol, Sports Illustrated reported at the time. In his first game back in March 2020, Ryan scored three goals, an emotional moment for the player and for fans.

RELATED: NHL Player Scores 3 Goals in First Home Game Back After Completing Treatment for Alcohol Abuse

Bobby Ryan #9 of the Ottawa Senators gets ready during a face-off against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on October 19, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona.
Bobby Ryan #9 of the Ottawa Senators gets ready during a face-off against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on October 19, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona.

Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty

In his Twitter thread, Ryan said the incident at the airport happened after he relapsed.

"If you're going to really relapse.. you might as well have to travel the next day as well," he wrote. "I hate this, never again."

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According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, nearly 15 million Americans ages 12 and older had alcohol use disorder in 2019. Around 95,000 people in the U.S. die of alcohol-related causes every year, the organization said.

Ryan, who won a silver medal with Team USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics, said he planned to write back those who sent him well-wishes over the last week.

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"I intend to, and I will write back to every single person who sent me a message," Ryan told his followers.

He continued: "There is over 950 of them, please don't think I am ducking you. I can't keep up. But I am absolutely floored and humbled. Thank you all so much, I don't deserve it. But I will take it."