Call of Duty 2020 World Champion Cuyler ‘Huke’ Garland opened up about his Adderall use at the height of his career and the reckoning he faced at Dallas Empire and LA Thieves while trying to recover.
Huke, 21, says he started using Adderall somewhere around the age of 18, a few years after the budding Call of Duty pro was developing into one of the most promising talents in the scene.
Adderall, a drug that’s part Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine, helps improve concentration and focus, working as a central nervous system stimulant. Huke described taking the drug as a way to cope with the pressures in the CDL, but saw that it wasn’t making him feel good.
“I won Champs, and I didn’t really feel good,” Huke said. “On the inside, I was very grateful for winning… But those couple of days afterwards, I didn’t feel good. It was mainly because of one thing, I, at the time, was taking Adderall.”
“I’m playing out of anger, rather than joy.”
The mood swings while playing Call of Duty at the competitive level left him wanting on a personal level. He says he remembers the joy that competing would give him, but he wasn’t getting that during his time using the drug.
At the start of the 2021 CDL season, Huke was looking forward to dropping the drug in exchange for much healthier habits.
Meditation, healthy eating, and cold showers were his remedies to staying off Adderall, with noticeable changes to his behavior encouraging him to stay clean.
After playing a few CDL matches off the substance, he regained his confidence and celebrated the positive changes with his team at the time, Dallas Empire.
Kicked off Empire, benched in LA
His 180-turn off the drug had very noticeable changes in his demeanor. People started to notice his manner change, his habits change, and rumors started to spread.
“I started getting called out on a lot of things,” Huke said. “I understood that, and I took that. I was like, okay, maybe I am being too positive… and I started to believe a lot of the things I was being told by my teammates and the environment. And it really got to my head.”
Though he kicked a bad habit, he felt his confidence lower again. He says he was getting slandered during his time in Empire, and it was discouraging at a time when he was starting to enjoy the game again.
Eventually he found out from his brother that he was getting benched by the Empire. The situation had unfolded to the point where he felt the Empire didn’t trust him, and felt his voice wasn’t being heard.
Team meetings had given him discernable points to improve on, considering his form at the time, and he was ready to make improvements. Empire would later bench Huke.
“This year, maybe I was a bit down during Stage 2, and no one really reached out to me. Actually, no one reached out to me and tried to lift me up,” Huke said. He would later land on the LA Thieves roster. And he described his new team as a revitalization of his love for CoD.
But stories had spread that he was using psychedelics. Apparently, people within the LA Thieves team “bought into” narratives that he was having problems, considering his change in mindset.
Huke described his demeanor as a positive change, but rumors had painted a different picture of his recovery.
Fellow pros and longtime friends would call him “crazy Cuyler,” believing that Huke was troubled with drugs or the like.
These rumors started having repercussions on his career, especially since he was benched by the Thieves shortly after he signed.
“The toxicity in the pro scene, and the toxicity in the pro scene in general, it can be tough sometimes.
“I’m sorry if I’m calling everyone out, but we have to do better,” he said.
Huke would later be reinstated in the LA Thieves lineup. Huke says the larger CoD community “has lost sight” of what the dream of being a pro really means, and is calling on the scene to make improvements.