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Prescription Painkiller Abuse By Professional Athletes

I grew up an avid sports fan.  As a kid I idolized the guys who graced the football field and on the ice in hockey. I looked at these players as super-human athletes. I'd watch vicious hits from NFL games on Sports Center and see players get right back up and walk to the huddle. It amazed me that those guys could take such a hard hit during the game, then pop back up like nothing happened.  If these hits happened to the average person, they would most likely end up in the hospital. You would see hockey players have their face smashed in and their teeth knocked out, and never leave the game. Watching these players made me want to be tough just like them.  I enjoyed playing sports, and I looked up to these players as role models.

These ideas and images I had of players were very unrealistic. The idea that these men do not feel pain as we do or that they are super-human is just a fabrication of what is really going on. It has been documented frequently over the past few years about the pressure these men face to stay in the game. It does not matter how serious or painful their injury is, if they can run and pursue their duties on the field they must compete.

When you are paid millions of dollars a year to run a football or if you are struggling to keep your place on the ice, you will do whatever it takes to suit up to earn your check.  Knowing that there are literally thousands of other athletes who are younger, stronger, and ready to take your position makes these players do whatever they can to continue to play. Most of the professional players are taking massive amounts of opiate based narcotic painkillers to endure the pain and get back into the game to play.

In November of 2012, “Men's Journal” published an article, “The NFL's Secret Drug Problem.” This article revealed a lot about professional sports and injuries. Ever since my addiction to painkillers, I've learned a lot of signs of people who are on opiates.  I watch players who sustain an injury during the game and see them giving interviews with the media about the injury afterwards. Every time I look at their eyes, I notice their pupils are constricted which is a sign of being on opiates. I'd follow the reports and see multiple interviews throughout the rest of the season and sure enough, those same players have the same distinct pin hole pupils. It makes you wonder how much pain medication is on the sideline during an NFL game. It's common to see players get hurt before half-time and carted off the field.  They somehow miraculously return to the game in the second-half with no visible injuries.

I understand what these guys have on the line. The average NFL career is between 6-7 years, so the players need to prove themselves in order to capitalize on their skills.   Every player has a choice of what they put into their bodies, but injury recovery times keep getting shorter and shorter in professional sports.  An injury that used to take 3-5 weeks to get back on the field now takes 2-3. These players aren't healing faster, they are able to play through the pain because of stronger painkillers.  Players take these drugs for years while they play through broken fingers, ribs, concussions and more.  Over the next decade we are going to start seeing the long term effects of the players who abused their bodies with injuries and painkillers and it's most likely not going to be pretty.  


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