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Athletes and Painkiller Addiction

Athletes and Painkiller AddictionAlthough any San Diego resident can become dependent on painkillers and other addictive substances, those who are prescribed the drugs often have more opportunity to succumb. Due to the propensity of athletes to suffer injuries for which they are prescribed opioid drugs, the development of addiction is a significant risk. This can be true for both professional and amateur athletes at all levels of competition.

Why Athletes in San Diego May Develop Painkiller Addiction

There are a number of factors that may contribute to opioid painkiller addiction among athletes in San Diego, including the following:

  • Athletes are commonly injured and are consequently prescribed painkillers more often than non-athletes might be.
  • There is often significant pressure on injured athletes to return to health for their teams. Financial compensation in the form of scholarship money or salary may also be involved. Team loyalty and peer pressure can influence people to attempt to return to competition before their bodies have fully healed and before pain has abated.
  • As athletes continue to push their injured bodies, pain often continues and healing may be impaired. This could lead them to use painkillers on a continual basis, which can accelerate the process of developing dependence and addiction.
  • Sports programs and physicians do not always monitor and manage painkiller prescriptions closely. In the 1990s, the DEA reported that two trainers from the University of Arkansas were placed on probation because they could only account for 332 of 10,059 doses of prescription painkillers that had been dispensed. According to a 2004 article by the Chicago Tribune, a University of Washington athlete reported that from 2000 to 2002 she received between 100 and 180 narcotic pills from the team physician.
  • Athletes are often popular and well-compensated, which can make it easier for them to obtain drugs.
  • As a group, athletes may be more prone than others to developing a wide range of addictions. A 2004 study printed in the United States Sports Academy publication The Sport Journal found that a high percentage of college athletes demonstrated problematic addiction-related behavior in a variety of categories.

Issues to Address in Addiction Therapy for Athletes from San Diego

Although there are certain components of successful addiction therapy that are common for all patients from San Diego, a comprehensive personalized plan can be most effective. Counselors working with addicted athletes may be especially prepared to help them focus less on their bodies and more on their thoughts and feelings. The tendency of athletes to be idolized, and the fact that many have trouble
defining themselves apart from their sport are also issues that can be addressed.

Finding Help for Painkiller Addicts in San Diego

If you or someone you love in San Diego is struggling with a painkiller addiction, please call our toll-free helpline now. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions and help you understand your treatment options. We can also check your insurance coverage if you wish. Let us help you find your road to recovery from addiction. Call today.