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  • NFL player and reserve defensive back David Croudip played professional football for the Atlanta Falcons and was their captain of special teams.

    Unfortunately, Croudip died at an early age. The night after a home game against the Los Angeles Rams, his former team, he took a fatal dose of cocaine which led to a heart attack. He was 30.

    About David Croudip

    David Rodney Croudip was born on January 25, 1958 in Indianapolis, Indiana. He graduated from Compton High School in Compton, California, and then went on to Ventura College. From there, he went to San Diego State where he was a fifth-year player.

    Professional Football Career

    Croudip played for the USFL’s Los Angeles Express and then went to the Houston Gamblers. He was picked up by the Los Angeles Rams in 1984. He was cut by the Rams and then played two games for the San Diego Chargers in 1985 before being cut. 

    It was then that he was signed by the Atlanta Falcons as a free agent in October 1985. For the Atlanta Falcons, he was a reserve cornerback and a leader of special teams.

    His final game was on the Sunday before he died. The team played against the Los Angeles Rams and Croudip made one tackle.

    How David Croudip Died

    David Croudip died on Monday, October 10, 1988 at his home in Duluth, Georgia, at the age of 30. His cause of death was a heart attack due to a “cocaine cocktail.”

    According to the Gwinnett County Coroner Randy Simpson, cocaine was found in his system. Gwinnett County medical examiner Joe Burton later stated that he had ruled out any foul play.

    Croudip’s wife, Holly Croudip, called for an ambulance at 2 a.m. that morning after he suffered from multiple seizures. His heart failed on the way to the hospital, and when he arrived at the Joan Glancy Hospital at 2:30 a.m, they failed to revive him. He was pronounced dead at 3:31 a.m. 

    Witnesses had stated that they saw Croudip ingest cocaine and “some liquid” that day.

    Croudip’s drug overdose was the first of three in the Atlanta Falcons organization over the following two years. In 1989, offensive tackle Ralph Norwood was killed in a car crash. Four weeks later, tight end Brad Beckman was killed in a different car crash.

    David Croudip’s History of Substance Abuse

    There is little indication that David Croudip abused drugs before the day of his death. According to Falcons President Rankin M. Smith Jr., Croudip never tested positive for cocaine during any NFL drug tests.

    The Falcons coach Marion Campbell also stated that he had no knowledge of Croudip using drugs and that many of the Falcons players hadn’t known him to use drugs either.

    More specifically, one of his teammates, starting cornerback Scott Case, said  “I can’t and won’t believe [that he used cocaine]. I just don’t believe it. I practically lived with the guy every day.”

    Did David Croudip Attend Addiction Treatment?

    It’s unknown whether David Croudip sought out or received any form of addiction treatment. Since it appears that he didn’t abuse drugs beyond the day he died, it’s likely he wouldn’t have needed or had any reason to attend professional addiction treatment.

    Recovery Is Possible

    If you or a loved one are struggling with cocaine abuse or addiction, you don’t have to deal with it alone—recovery is possible at Ark Behavioral Health

    We understand that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to addiction treatment. That’s why we offer a wide variety of treatment options including detox, inpatient and outpatient care, mental health counseling, and ongoing aftercare planning.

    For more information, please call our helpline today.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.
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