The former NBA star, who was famously married to Khloe Kardashian before splitting up amid a series of cheating scandals, opens up about his emotionally painful sexual history in his new memoir, Darkness to Light.
"I am a sex addict," Odom writes, in excerpts published by People on Wednesday, adding, "I have been obsessed with sex for as long as I can remember."
Odom, 39, claims that he has slept with more than 2,000 women in his life and that his liaisons were frequently with women whom he paid for the sexual encounters.
"There were too many strippers to count," the troubled athlete admits. "It wasn’t a big deal, but often I would pay them. I never thought less of them."
Odom was infamously hospitalized in October 2015 for a near-fatal drug overdose after being found unconscious in a room at the Love Ranch Brothel in Nevada -- an experience Odom says was "the wake-up call" for him and the catalyst for his journey to sobriety and recovery.
Odom spent months recuperating after his brush with death, and received a lot of public support from his estranged wife, Kardashian, before they eventually finalized their divorce more than a year later.
According to Odom, his addiction to sex exacerbated his substance abuse and vice versa, leading to a kind of positive feedback loop.
"Sex was a trigger for me to do drugs," Odom recalls. "Because you double up on [that] good feeling."
Odom also opens up, in an interview with People, about how his sex and drug addictions hurt his relationship with the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star, and expresses his regret for his actions.
"I wish I could have been more of a man," Odom reflects. "It still bothers me to this day. But regret is something we have to learn to live with."
The former Los Angeles Lakers star says that the start of their marriage "was bliss" and he was "the happiest I’ve ever been" at the time.
Odom also explains that "at the start of our marriage I was faithful to her," but says things spiraled out of control because he "could not handle the lethal cocktail of the spotlight, addiction, a diminishing career and infidelity."
Regarding his ex, Odom says, "I hope we can be friends," and that he misses the entire family. "I hope we can all be reacquainted one day."
Odom explains in his memoir that he has managed to break the chains of substance abuse and is drug-free, but admits that he is "still an addict," and still faces challenges when it comes to his vices and impulses.
"I still struggle," Odom writes. "[But] I will not go into the darkness. Ever again."
Odom's forthcoming book, Darkness to Light, hits shelves May 28.