"Rock bottom was recently," the boxing great said in an interview with Spanish-language broadcaster Univision, according to an English-language transcript it provided. "Within a couple of years, just thinking if my life was even worth it. I don't have the strength, I don't have the courage to take my own life but I was thinking about it."
De La Hoya, who retired in 2009 after winning 10 world titles in six divisions, said he has been sober for three months.
"There were drugs. My drug of choice was cocaine and alcohol, hmm. Cocaine was recent. The last 2 years, last 2½ years and I depended more on the alcohol than the cocaine," he said. "It took me to a place where I felt safe. It took me to a place where I felt as if nobody can say anything to me. It took me to a place where I just can reach out and grab my mom."
Before his mother, Cecilia, died of breast cancer in 1990, De La Hoya promised her he would win an Olympic gold medal. He made good on his word in the 1992 Barcelona Games.
De La Hoya won his last title in May 2006, beating Ricardo Mayorga in six rounds for the WBC 154-pound belt. He finished with a record of 39-6 and 30 knockouts.
-- Melissa Rohlin
Photo: Oscar De La Hoya. Credit: Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times
The Associated Press contributed to this report.