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Addiction Help: Major League Baseball versus the Union

The problem with addiction and sports is like spy versus spy in Mad Magazine: nobody is getting ahead. The first step in dealing with drugs and young people is education, but I can’t figure where the player’s union is on the issue of prescription drugs or whether or not players are going to get addiction help.

If you go to MLB.com and read through Mr. Mitchell’s Report to the Commissioner of Baseball of An Independent Investigation into the Illegal Use of Steroids and Other Performance Enhancing Substances, it is pretty obvious that the players’ union wants little to do with a drug free environment. Mr. Fehr, head of the union, granted one interview, and offered no immediate help or a solution. Perhaps Mr. Fehr doesn’t want a drug free environment and doesn’t want the players to get addiction help – not an attitude I can root for.

The amount of addiction help that has been needed and will be needed in this country can’t be blamed on baseball, yet the players union is certainly contributing to the idea that prescription drugs are safe.

While past performance is no guarantee of future performance you can bet that whatever Commissioner Selig proposes, Donald Fehr will be there to stop it.

Prescription drug addiction and abuse is a plague, and it needs to be dealt with. Mr. Fehr should wake up. Commissioner Selig wants to put a stop on drug abuse in baseball and I hope he is successful. The players union should get behind the effort. If not Mr. Fehr, perhaps the players themselves should step up.

I am sure I don’t have all of the information Mr. Fehr has, but granting only one interview is pathetic. Maybe Mr. Fehr doesn’t read his local newspaper, or perhaps he hasn’t been apprised of the problems prescription drugs are creating with the youth of America. If not, one of his “advisors” should let him in on the secret. There is a problem with steroid abuse among young hopeful athletes.

Concerning the players that did take drugs for performance, if they have a World Series ring, take it away. And remove their names from the rosters of the champions. And you could take away the trophy from the club house. Tell the owners they will be treated like any other athlete who cheats in the Olympics, they lose their medals.

Players should realize they can help the situation and stand up to demand a drug free work place.

Mr. Fehr should be pushing to ensure that athletes get the addiction help they need, and should be doing everything he can to give them a drug free work place. Commissioner Selig should continue to push his plan forward. Oh, yes, and where will the owners be in all this? Let’s wait and find out.

Drug abuse and the need for addiction help services in professional sports is nothing new, maybe this report will be a step towards correcting that issue and making athletes perform “au natural”. Less addiction treatment will be needed when baseball players and other athletes are setting an example that young people can look up to and emulate.

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