Based on what we see on TV alone, you can definitely tell that football players do not live the most glamorous of lives. Of course, they have wonderful opportunities to enjoy their free time and incredible paychecks, but (beyond the fame and fortune) these men tend to suffer from some of the most painful injuries we can imagine. Broken knees, fractured tibias, dislocated shoulders, torn muscles – these are just a few of the agonizing problems NFL players have to deal with. As a result, thee players are often fed prescription opioids to help them cope with the pain during big games and practice, but what is supposed to happen after retirement? Without the help of doctors and their drugs, how are these men supposed to cope with the pain? Let’s take a closer look at NFL retirees’ problems with opioids.
Popping Pills Like Candy
For many decades, pain has pretty much become a staple of football, adding extra weight to the prospect of “no pain, no game.” To cope with the pain, athletes were forced to take opioids (as expected). However, in recent years, NFL players seem to have gotten bigger (especially the linemen), and (in tandem) manufacturers are producing more potent opioids. As you can imagine, this combination does not spell a happy future.
In 2018, a study (featured in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine) confirmed that about 26.2% of retired NFL players had consumed opioids in the past 30 days leading up to the survey. Even worse, roughly 50% of these men admitted they did not follow the instructions for taking the drugs. On that note, in a second similar study (produced at Washington University), researchers determined that 71% of NFL players who participated in the study had taken opioids during their career and, in some cases, after they left the league.
Fact of the Matter
However, you can only understand the severity of the situation when you listen to the players themselves. In an interview, Aaron Gibson (a former lineman) explains how he buzzed through opioids like candy, and one doctor even commented that his medications were also prescribed to Stage-4 cancer patients. Earl Campbell (all-star running back for the Houston Oilers) explained how players have to undergo multiple procedures after retiring, but he was not fully aware of his problem until he entered rehab.
Seeking Treatment for Opioid Addiction
Opioids are extremely potent and dangerous drugs that have a high risk for abuse and addiction and can be particularly dangerous for both adults and teens alike. These substances can trigger severe dependency and a string of unpleasant health problems (including residual pain) as well. Although these drugs can easily help people cope with severe pain, opioids are still dangerous and have been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. If you have a history of substance abuse or addiction, we recommend you find an alternative to opioids. In the even that you are suffering from opioid use disorder, though, understand that you can always find the help you need.
Are you suffering from a severe case of opioid addiction? Do you have a friend or a family member who is coping with one of these issues, as well? On both accounts, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process of withdrawal and detox and guide you along the rocky road of rehabilitation. Soon enough, you will experience a faster and much more efficient recovery.
If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how you can overcome your mental illness and take an extra step toward combating the Opioid Crisis.