Athletes Against Addiction

Athletes are under an Intense Amount of Stress

Many people do not realize the intense amount of stress that goes into becoming a respected athlete. When fans go to watch any type of sporting event, they are captivated by the level of skill, talent, and dedication that the players exhibit.

They enjoy the atmosphere of cheering for their favorite team or for their favorite athlete. They may believe that it is by natural talent alone that these athletes are able to excel so exceptionally. But while natural talent is definitely a key component, the road to athletic success encompasses much, much more.


Athletes Become Addicted to Narcotics such as Opiate Painkillers after a Sports Injury

Some substance abuse among athletes can begin innocently. As injuries commonly occur in every type of sport, so does the need for medication in order to help ease the pain caused by those injuries.

Prescription painkillers, which include narcotics such as:

  • Morphine
  • Methadone
  • Vicodin
  • Percocet

These drugs can be used to allow an athlete to continue to perform despite the presence of an injury [2]. However, these narcotics can be highly addictive.

They work to depress the nervous system and can result in feelings of euphoria and well-being. So not only are these substances helping to rid a person of his or her pain, but they may also be making him or her feel “high.” These feelings of euphoria and well-being can cause an increase in one’s self-esteem, resulting in the athlete no longer feeling the pressures that he or she may have previously been experiencing.

The longer that athletes take these pain killers, the more quickly their tolerance develops, leaving them to require greater amounts of substances.

Athletes Often Turn to Stimulants to Boost Performance

Another type of substance commonly abused by athletes are stimulants, which can include amphetamines (such as Adderall or Ritalin) and cocaine. The use of stimulants allows athletes to:

  • Stay alert
  • Maintain focus and aggressiveness
  • Reduce fatigue

Because athletes find themselves under pressure to perform at the utmost level of energy on a daily basis, it is not difficult to understand why the use of stimulants would be appealing.

By using these substances, athletes are able to get the burst of energy that they need while maintaining the focus required to perform at the best of their ability. However, the effects of stimulants do not typically last very long, causing the person using them to increase the frequency of the use.

For example, cocaine typically only lasts for a maximum of around 30 minutes and prescription stimulants (Adderall, Ritalin, etc.) do not usually last longer than around 6-8 hours.

As the frequency in which one is using increases, so does the level of tolerance, resulting in an increased need or “craving” for the drug. This addiction can cause some athletes to feel as though they are unable to perform at all without the aid of some form of stimulant.