Drug addiction is shockingly common amongst retired professional athletes. Once the days of playing are over, and with seemingly unlimited money and time on their hands, many professional athletes turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with their new found freedom. However, this often leads to devastating consequences. Many former professional athletes suffer from lingering injuries they sustained during their careers. Among the most heavily abused drugs among athletes are prescription painkillers such as Roxycodone.
As expected, athletes who participated in contact sports tend to resort to drugs to deal with their chronic pain more than other former athletes. Former boxers and football players are the most likely to begin using prescription painkillers like Roxycodone. Unfortunately, they do not realize that they have developed an addiction until it is too late. Getting off of prescription painkillers can be a very difficult task without the help of medical professionals and a drug detox program. However, many former athletes find it difficult to ask for help, as they are used to being able to overcome physical obstacles.
A new study shows that one of the main problems that retired athletes face is brain trauma. This trauma is caused by spending years playing violent sports at a high level. Some of the symptoms that these individuals experience when they retire from their respective sports are disorientation, confusion, headaches, impaired judgment and a lack of impulse control. These feelings, many times, lead to a person feeling moody and cause them to turn to mind altering drugs to take their focus of the pain. This can obviously lead to terrible consequences. One recent example of this phenomenon is former San Diego Charger’s football player Junior Seau. He was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his beautiful San Diego mansion last month, and many individuals strongly suspect brain trauma from football, exacerbated by drug use, led to his demise.
Incidents like Seau’s are nothing new. Many former athletes defined themselves as just that, and when they are finished with their playing careers, they do not know where to turn. From the outside, we see all the money and fame these people have, yet we do not realize that many of them have intense feelings of low self-esteem once they retire. Brain trauma can cause more than just a penchant for addiction, though. It is important that we strive to better protect individuals, especially young children, who play violent sports like boxing and football. This can be accomplished by better protective equipment.
For many athletes, transitioning back into civilian life can be a difficult challenge. Having an unlimited amount of free time, money, and no one around is the perfect recipe for a person to develop an addiction to painkillers. It is important for these individuals to recognize that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of maturity and strength. If you or someone you know is addicted to prescription pain medication, like Roxycodone, it is vital that they seek help from a reputable drug rehab center.