Athletes may have special abilities when it comes to their sport, but there is no special power for resisting the draw of substance use. Athletes pride themselves on being the best, and there are plenty of substances on the black market to make them perform at a higher level.
Drug addiction has long been a struggle faced by even the most prestigious athletes. Mental struggles and the pressures of the “game” can be hard to tackle with a clean and sober body, and the lure of chemical stimulation is all too powerful at times.
Here is a quick breakdown of a few of the most common reasons some athletes become addicts.
Pressure to succeed
There is an immense pressure to succeed when you are an athlete, especially when you are competing at the highest level. Professional athletes have more issues with substance abuse that you might think.
Don’t believe it? Substance abuse is so prevalent within the professional sports community that the authorities in those sports often have a set protocol for handling athletes caught in the grips of addiction. Check out the NFL’s guidelines for substance abuse.
Pressure from social situations
At all levels of sports, there are certain social situations that encourage the use of drugs and alcohol. Athletes often enjoy a good party after winning the big game, and some sportsmen are known for going hard.
Binge drinking is a common issue in high school and college sports levels. Teenagers are often not fully equipped to handle the pressure of their peers. When everyone on the team goes to the after party, you go too.
The steroid epidemic
Steroid use among NFL players is considerably high. Of over 2,500 former NFL players surveyed, a little more than 9 percent admitted to using steroids during their professional career.
It is too convenient to use steroids to recover quicker from a mild injury, or even to use them to get ahead of the competition. There are numerous reasons why performance enhancement drugs run rampant through the culture of professional sports, and often the appeal is far too strong.
Boosting energy capacity
It takes a whole lot of energy to push through the conditioning and gameplay faced by professional athletes, and it’s much easier to keep going and going when you have the help of amphetamines. Though not the first choice of most athletes, the perks of infinite energy are clear.
Relief from sports related pain
Players often suffer chronic pain from repeated injuries to their bodies. Pain is a driving force for hundreds of professional athletes every day. Big names like Lamar Odom and Andre Agassi have publicly dealt with their drug addictions.