Just as with celebrities and other highly-ranked people of the public eye, athletes encounter numerous amounts of stress and pressure each day. Team practices and workouts are often almost daily occurrences for many athletes, and the pressure to win games can cause many to rely on substances in order to cope. In addition, sports injuries and physical pain means that prescription painkillers are right at hand – making addiction a potential outcome. Lastly, performance-enhancing drugs have been used for many years by athletes to help them get definition and muscle tone, endurance, and more. Although many sports associations have severe consequences for illicit drug use, many athletes today continue to abuse them – which has caused them a lot of health, financial, and legal complications – some even losing their life.
A 2014 review titled “Drug Abuse in Athletes” reviews the following substances of choice among athletes, as shown in previous studies and reports:
- Anabolic steroids
- Smokeless tobacco
According to the NCAA, student athletes are also among those at risk for substance abuse disorders (SUDs). Many college students face peer pressure and the desire to “fit in”, thus leading them to situations where substance use is involved. If young college students are unaware of where to turn to when mental health issues arise, oftentimes substance abuse is where they go to. Substances have a major effect on one’s mental health; former Los Angeles Lakers star Lamar Odom stated in an interview on The Doctors that he “wasn’t in a good place mentally”. He told Rolling Stone, “You become so distant. Using drugs, it numbs you to everything. Even your feelings.”
Since many athletes feel pressure to succeed and rarely have the support they need to work through mental illnesses and other stressors in life, it’s important that treatment and other resources are offered. If you have been struggling with substance abuse, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center today. Recovery is possible, and the sooner you seek help, the sooner you can restore your mind, body, and spirit.
Transform your life, inside and out as you find freedom from addiction. At Tree House Recovery in Orange County, California, we’re helping men create the sustainable changes necessary to build a sustainable recovery. Call us today for information: (855) 202-2138