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Addiction Help Is Better Than Playing Sports Through Painkillers

Shouldn’t the NFL be getting football players who are addicted to OxyContin or painkillers the addiction help they need?

Brett Favre, who recently retired from professional football, had to deal with an addiction to Vicodin – and he managed to do it. The NFL estimates 10% of its players are addicted to painkillers. The reality of that estimate could be in question: I would guess it’s much higher – maybe as high as 15% or even 20%.  But the NFL doesn’t seem to care. If they did you’d be reading a lot more about celebrity football players receiving addiction help.

If you can’t play without them, prescription painkillers and prescription stimulants are performance enhancing, just like steroids.  I like to watch football but it is violent and the hits look very painful.  Prescription drugs are a formidable opponent in the battle against drug addiction: they are painful to withdraw from and unless you are supervised closely in a medical drug detox, you can be sick for days.

When their players don’t get the addiction help they need, the message from the NFL to high school and college kids is clear: play through pain, just use painkillers. It shouldn’t be like this for any sport. The message should be play without drugs, or don’t play at all.

Pro sports sending the message that drugs and sports don’t mix would take drug education up a notch – kids would understand that playing with the help of pills is no longer approved. It would also level the field – injuries or not. Addiction help is available for any athlete whether someone needs a drug detox or more intense addiction help services.

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