7 Athletes Who Struggled With Substance Abuse and Alcoholism

The second DUI was enough for him to realize he needed help. He ultimately entered an in-patient treatment facility where he stayed for 45 days. After treatment, he continued to keep up with his recovery by attending Alcoholics Anonymous . While he may face temptation from time to time, Michael often speaks about how glad he is that he sought treatment and is remaining sober. But Michael has also struggled with alcohol misuse throughout his lifetime, and it has even had an impact on his career. He has been arrested two different times for driving under the influence, most recently in September of 2014.

The amount of cocaine in his system was enough to kill an elephant, per the Los Angeles Times. He passed hours before his bachelor party and a day before his wedding. Athletes are caught in high-pressure situations during contests.

  • Substance abuse has put Manziel’s once-promising NFL career on hold.
  • With so much pressure to perform well physically, sportsmen do not have the time to deal with mental issues.
  • Ensuring your success in achieving long-term recovery is our goal.
  • A baseball player once got addicted to OxyContin and this led to abusing heroin.
  • Therefore, they turn to drugs to help them overcome their feelings and emotions, so they can be clear-headed during their performance.
  • We do specific biochemical laboratory testing to determine an individual’s biochemical imbalance.

Drugs and alcohol help athletes numb the physical pain that comes with pushing their bodies to extraordinary limits. However, these things lead to addiction and a plethora of negative side effects affecting the body and mind. An athlete’s life revolves around the sports he/she plays and the eyes of spectators are always glaring at them like a hawk. This places them under extreme pressure which might get too much to bear. In order to cope with the pressure to perform and live up to expectations, athletes usually resort to drugs to enhance physical stamina. When their body naturally doesn’t allow them to push past the limit, they will start to force it to do this unnaturally.

Professional Sports, Brain Injuries and Drug Use

As a child, former boxer Johnny Tapia witnessed his mother’s murder. The event triggered a lifelong alcohol and cocaine addiction, suicide attempts and multiple incarcerations. He was declared dead four different times due to drug overdoses. In recent years, professional leagues have been publicly scrutinized for contributing to this epidemic.

Memory loss and blackouts are also an indication of their drug addiction. Mood swings accompanied by a frisky, irritable attitude could also be a sign. Their drug tolerance would increase and now they will be able to consume a larger number of drugs. Soon their ability to have rational thoughts diminishes and they are unable to control what they consume.

athletes addiction

Subsequent injuries cut his career short, and he retired in 2013. Later that year, he overdosed on a combination of alcohol and an unspecified drug, according to the Los Angeles Times. In professional tennis, men and women are tested at random during tournaments.

Substance Abuse in Sports Professionals | Anabolic Steroids and Pain killers Abuse in Sports | Stimulants Addiction in Athletes

Steroids were found in his home, leaving officials speculating whether drugs factored into the tragedy. There are many physical and psychological side effects of their use, including irritability, insomnia, heart attack, impaired judgement and high-risk behavior. Substance abuse has put Manziel’s once-promising NFL career on hold.

His arrest would cause him to be suspended from competing in USA Swimming for six months. Michael pled guilty to the DUI charge and then began to evaluate his life. Many may wonder how someone who seemingly has so much going for them would ever fall into substance use.

Lying and hiding are usually some of the most common signs. They might lie to you about having stopped substance abuse or about not using it ever. These symptoms could appear together with being socially distant and quiet. However, when it arrived in the US, it was sold as a drug for weight loss and to boost energy. At a low dosage, side effects include increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, seizures, hepatitis, psychosis, stroke, injury of the heart muscle, etc. Through their prime years, they follow such a rigorous lifestyle that they do not have time to mourn a loss or give heed to emotions.

athletes addiction

For some athletes, the addiction led to death and an end to the career they risked their lives for. A spectacular tennis star tested positive for meldonium failed a drug test in 2016’, a performance-enhancing drug. Because of this information coming to light, Sharapova’s reputation went a little downhill and many big brands and companies such as Nike stopped endorsing her.

On the other hand, we scrutinize athletes due to controversies. The recurring discussion at the forefront of pre-Olympics coverage is substance abuse and the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Strict laws and rules by sport event organizers must be imposed and strict adherence to these rules must be ensured. Regular tests and screening must be made compulsory before games by all players.

Other recreational drugs

Addiction to drugs is common across all ages and all professions. Injuries are common in sports, and they can be very painful. Some athletes turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with the pain. MLB player Josh Hamilton, who has battled cocaine and alcohol addictions for most of his life, relapsed in 2009, 2012 and 2015. Former addicts are most vulnerable to relapse during the early months of sobriety. In a study published by Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 52 percent of 644 retired NFL players admitted to using prescription pain medications during their playing days.

In nine NFL seasons, Shawne Merriman was a three-time Pro Bowler and an intimidating presence on the field. The University of Maryland alum https://rehabliving.net/ was named NFL defensive Rookie of the Year in 2005. In 2009, evidence showed that Bonds used PEDs in 2000 and 2001, per The New York Times.

However, these moments pale in comparison to the pressures that come with success. Each year, crowds of spectators pack arenas and stadiums to watch their favorite athletes in action. Fans idolize them, young athletes want to be them and corporate sponsors want to work with them. You can also read the documentation to learn about Wordfence’s blocking tools, or visit wordfence.com to learn more about Wordfence. Wordfence is a security plugin installed on over 4 million WordPress sites. The owner of this site is using Wordfence to manage access to their site.

Reasons for Substance Abuse in Athletes

Bell’s brother Chris chronicled Michael’s story in “Prescription Thugs,” a documentary about America’s legal drug abuse problem. Some do so to enhance their performance or remedy an injury. Others pick up an addiction after entering professional sports. You will also find information on spotting the signs and symptoms of substance use and hotlines for immediate assistance. At Real Recovery Sober Living, we provide substance and alcohol abuse treatment for men seeking help. Founded on the principle of providing a safe and stable environment and community for those wanting help for addiction, we are the largest provider of sober living beds in Florida.

They found he had an advanced case of CTE that affects judgement. Researchers believe his drug addiction may have stemmed from brain trauma. Substance abuse has permanently derailed promising careers. However, some athletes conquered their addictions and went on to have successful careers or lead prosperous lives.

What factors encourage drug use by athletes?

Many other renowned athletes like Maradona, Sharapova, and Michael Phelps have faced drug abuse issues. This means nothing is holding athletes back from using them. Athletes find it to be a quick fix to any issue they are facing in performance, and feel like they can easily achieve their goal just by using drugs. Getting drugs such as opioids easily prescribed, or even being able to get them without any prescription makes it easy to get addicted. The stigma around drug use has gone soft and people now readily accept drugs as part of leisure and fun.

Individuals, like Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps, continuously out-perform all competition in their respective sports. Not only are they exciting to watch, but they gain respect for their countries. The team will exchange daily information and adjust the schedule as we go. Our therapists will work with you treating the root causes and not just the symptoms. Our program consists of treating only one client at a time individually designed to help you with all the problematic aspects of your life. All individual treatment sessions will be held at your private residence.

The athlete used drugs to deal with the loss of her biological mother. In this blog, we will discuss substance abuse in sports. We will eco sober house review also be highlighting the drugs most commonly abused by athletes, alongside the symptoms and side effects of abusing these drugs.

He has been very candid about these addictions and his path to recovery. The loss of a loved one, as it was with Sha’Carri Richardson, influences substance use. Paul Merson is a former English football player and manager, and currently, a football match reporter for Sky Sports. Paul Merson stated he suffers from alcohol use disorder and gambling addiction, influenced by his struggle with depression.

One of the most important factors in curbing athlete substance abuse is education about the dangers of substance abuse. This should start at a young age and continue throughout an athlete’s career. They spend a lot of time away from their homes, friends, and family. For some, this leads to loneliness, so they turn to drugs or alcohol to cope.

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