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Prescription drug abuse rates are rapidly increasing in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the U.S. makes up only 5 percent of the world’s population, yet it is responsible for the consumption of 75 percent of the world’s prescription drugs. Abuse of prescription drugs occurs who the drug is taken in a manner other than its intended purpose such as to get high.

Prescription drug abuse can take over someone's life if help isn't found. It doesn’t have to be this way though. For those who are struggling with prescription drug abuse and addiction, help is only a phone call away.

03-09 Risk of opioid addiction higher in athletes after injuries

Posted in addiction by Rachael - 0 Comments
Risk of opioid addiction higher in athletes after injuries

People encourage their children to opt for different types of games because playing any kind of sport is healthy. However, sports and injuries are inseparable. Ranging from minor bruises to major fractures, every game involves strong will, patience and strength to bear all kinds of pain. Though injuries are a part of games, they can become a major roadblock for many players by affecting their performance. Hence, players seek medical help and are recommended opioids and painkillers to overcome the discomfort and get back to form.

However, are these opioids safe? The answer to this question is very subjective as the repercussions of these opioids vary from person to person based on their pattern of use. There are numerous cases where the dangerous combination of performance pressure, injury and treatment with opioid painkillers led to opioid addiction and death in the worst situation. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan in 2016 suggested that athletes are less likely than non-athletes to abuse prescription painkillers or heroin. Though sports restrains people from indulging in drug-seeking practices, they are more likely to resort to opioids for self-medication post injuries.

Relationship between sports and addiction

The field of sports is a highly competitive area. It encourages players to push their limits to the maximum, even at the stake of their health. In the case of teenagers, there are higher stakes associated with games, such as college scholarships, career, community pride and team expectations. Hence, when pinned down by an injury, they instantly turn to opioids to keep their performance unaffected. A licensed medical practitioner generally prescribed these opioids. Experts suggest that the rate of prescribing opioids to the athletes is twice the rate of other adolescents.

Driven by the ambition to win a game, players develop the habit of popping opioid painkillers to subdue pain. As this eventually makes their body unresponsive to the initial dosage, they keep on increasing their dosage to experience the same relief and comfort as witnessed with the first dosage. This trend leads to addiction and overdoses.

With the practice of sharing the prescription of opioids common among teenagers, many of them take these drugs for nonmedical purposes like attaining euphoria or getting high. According to the above study by the University of Michigan, around 11 percent of high school athletes have used a narcotic pain reliever or an opioid like OxyContin or Vicodin for “nonmedical purposes.” This implies that one in nine has abused a prescription drug to get high.

Apart from the trend of the frequent writing of prescription or sharing of prescription, the easy availability of the cheap derivatives of the opioids and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines have significantly fueled opioid addiction in athletes.  Before keeping an athlete on opioids, it is essential to cross-check the addictive ingredients of these medications.

Stop experimenting with drugs

Given the above consequences, it is essential to control the overuse of opioids for both medical and non-medical purposes. Medical practitioners can take the first step against opioid crisis by offering suitable alternatives to opioids, such as yoga, physical exercise, massage or pain control strategies like acupuncture. Such experiential therapies are healthy in nature that fasten the process of recovery. They can be strict about prescribing painkillers to only those in severe pain and need.

In addition, parents and teammates can plan their role in the struggle against opioid epidemic by becoming more vigilant about the type and dosage of the medicine taken by players. Furthermore, a multimodal approach, including appropriate rehabilitation, cold therapy, early mobility, healthy diet, anti-inflammatory medications and patient education, can help in preventing and controlling opioid crisis.

Although addiction of any kind is considered a stigma in the society, it is a disease with definite causes, symptoms, effects and treatments as well. Therefore, whether or not a person is a player or not, one must not hesitate in seeking medical help upon experiencing the symptoms of prescription drug abuse. When complete recovery from this condition is only possible with a thorough medical intervention, it becomes prerequisite to consult an expert.

If you or loved one is suffering from addiction to opioids, you can get in touch with Colorado Prescription Abuse Helpline to know more about prescription drug abuse. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-922-5915 or chat online with our experts to know about the best prescription drug treatment in Colorado.