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Addiction in Sports

Addiction in Sports

It has become pretty clear now that drug and alcohol addiction and substance abuse in general is an ongoing crisis and major problem to say the least.  Addiction now affects anyone with no holds barred at all.  It affects impoverished Americans and wealthy individuals alike.  Anyone from any profession, age, demographic, ethnic background, and geographic location can be affected.  One such type of individual that tends to suffer a lot from addiction is American athletes and their problem of addiction in sports.

Now more than ever American athletes seem to be struggling with drug and alcohol addiction in sports and with substance abuse issues in general.  According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), American athletes are one of the top at risk types of individuals when it comes to addiction and substance abuse in the nation.  This includes all athletes, but especially it would seem that student athletes are seemingly very, very at risk for issues like these.

Rising Statistics of Addicted Athletes

There is an untold amount of pressure on athletes and sports players to perform well and to exceed expectations.  Their income, their careers, their futures, their overall success and the success of their team members, depends on how well each and every single athlete performs individually.  For these reasons, there is a vast quantity of stress in the lives of those who play professional sports.  In fact, some professionals have placed sports players and athletes in general as being one of the most stressful types of careers in the nation.  It certainly has ranked quite high in terms of, “High Income High Stress” jobs in the United States.

The statistics on addiction in sports and athletes show a disturbing trend of increasing concerns within this realm.  True enough, addiction just seems to be getting to be a more and more worrisome problem for many, but to a degree, athletes are becoming rapidly more heavily affected by it than non-athletes.

For some statistics on it:

  • Lacrosse and hockey players by far have the highest drug use rates of all of the different sports.  For example, 95.2% and 98% have used alcohol in the previous 12 months, respectively.  Basketball and Track athletes had the lowest rates of drug use, which raises the question as to what about these sports causes either a lot of substance abuse or very little substance abuse comparatively.
  • The top sports for drug and alcohol use and abuse are:  Lacrosse, Ice Hockey, Baseball, Swimming, Golf, Tennis, Soccer, Football, Track, Basketball
  • Self-reported substance use is highest among student-athletes, not professional athletes. Across virtually every social drug that there is, (including alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana), student-athletes reported higher usage rates than seen among professional, adult athletes. In some cases in fact, (like with marijuana to name just one), student-athlete use of drugs has reportedly increased while rates with professional, adult athletes have remained stable or dropped even.
  • Substance use is generally higher among male student-athletes than it is among female athletes. Although similar percentages of male and female student-athletes report using alcohol in an abusive or an addictive way, men use other social and ergogenic substances at higher rates than women do, which is also typically true in other parts of the nation too and with non-athletes.
  • Student-athletes in lacrosse report substance use rates that are notably higher than in other sports, even in other sports that are significantly concerning when it comes to substance abuse. Examined across the sports, men’s lacrosse student-athletes reported the highest or near-highest use of many substances including alcohol, cigarettes, spit tobacco, marijuana, synthetic marijuana and cocaine even. Approximately 11% of men’s lacrosse players indicated that they have used cocaine in the last 12 months alone.
  • Among women, lacrosse student-athletes reported high usage rates for alcohol, amphetamines, cigarettes, and marijuana too. Men’s lacrosse players indicated the highest ADHD medication use, including 20% who reported using without a prescription in the last year alone.  For a gentlemen’s sport, it certainly does have a high risk for drug and alcohol abuse.
  • Among full-time college student-athletes of the ages of 18 to 22 in 2013, the rate of current illicit drug use was about 9.4 percent for Asians, 19.7 percent for blacks, 21.5 percent for Hispanics, and 25.1 percent for whites.  All demographics are affected to one degree or another, but whites are by far the most hurt by it.  Studies show that it is the middle class, upper middle class, and upper class too that are hit the hardest in colleges when it comes to substance abuse and addiction problems.
  • The dependence to alcohol that is a crisis in the nation in general often develops more quickly and at younger ages than those who did not drink in their early teens conversely.  Additionally, high school student athletes who use alcohol or other drugs are no less than five times as likely to drop out of school or believe good grades are unimportant than those student-athletes who do not use and abuse drugs and alcohol.

Addressing Addiction in Sports with Rehabilitation

There’s no doubt about it, but the best way to properly address an addiction in sports, or any addiction crisis once and for all, lies in taking those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol and putting them through an inpatient, residential, drug and alcohol addiction and dependence treatment center, detox facility, rehab program, and recovery organization.  These are by far the key factors in addressing addiction and they have been that way for some time now.  For decades, in fact, rehabilitation has been the key foundation factor in approaching any kind of addiction crisis.  Now more than ever too with so many Americans suffering and struggling with addiction these issues need to be taken up and brought to light and properly looked at now more than ever.

Inpatient rehabilitation also needs to be applied to athletes who are addicted to or who are abusing drugs and have an addiction in sports.  These individuals too need to be able to take a look at these addiction issues and problems and really focus on them and handle them once and for all and for good, just like anyone else does.

  • 1. When an athlete goes to a rehab center for a substance abuse crisis, he or she will be able to experience detoxification from the addiction crisis that he or she is currently faced with.  Whether it’s alcohol addiction, pill addiction, cocaine addiction, heroin addiction, crack addiction, meth addiction, or anything else for that matter, detox is there to help.  Detox exists to assist the individual in coming down off of the harmful and dangerous substances that are trapped in that person’s body.  In this way, the person can finally find freedom from chemical dependence and physical addiction to drugs and alcohol.
  • 2. After detox is completed and the athlete is physically free from drug and alcohol addiction, the next step is of course to pursue actual rehabilitation.  Rehabilitation itself is what necessitates a change in the person’s mind.  This is a much longer and more involved process than detox is, because the mental aspects of addiction are a lot more significant than the physical aspects are.  The mental crisis is what started an addiction, to begin with, and it is what will continue addiction and what will also cause relapse too if a person is not careful.  With proper counseling and therapy at an inpatient center though, any athlete can address the crisis of addiction from a mental, personal, psychological, and spiritual standpoint successfully.

No athlete should have to suffer from addiction. These issues are major crisis problems, to say the least, and they will continue to be so until those athletes affected can find the recovery they need to an inpatient rehab center.  With inpatient rehab, any athlete can beat the habit once and for all. For more information on addiction in sports, or addiction in general, call New Beginnings toll-free today.

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