The youngest of four children and son of an alcoholic, Kulka started drinking at the age of 12. At 14, he began smoking marijuana. Though Kulka, a talented athlete, had many great opportunities in his life, including being drafted into the National Hockey League at 17, they were limited by his addictions.
The reason Kulka was not drafted, he said, was his reputation as a ‘pot head." After turning to professional football, he used drugs throughout his entire career. And, in his opinion, let down his teammates in the process. His addiction became so severe that he even considered suicide.
As Kulka told of his brush with suicide, his sobriety since 2002 and how much he enjoys his new occupation (personal trainer) and working with young offenders, the students of ADHS listened intently in silence. Kulka was reluctant to share details of which substances he abused. Instead, he focused on making the point that substance abuse hinders the ability to develop social skills and make important life decisions.