Painkillers in the NFL

By May 2, 2018Food for thought
Painkillers in the NFL

Is it Time to Get Rid of Painkillers in the NFL?

Prescription painkillers are one of the most abused drugs in the US. In recent findings, more than 42,000 people succumbed to drug overdose using this drug in 2016 alone. About 2.1 million Americans are addicted to prescription or opioid drugs because it has a controlling effect on parts of the brain responsible for the production of dopamine, the feel-good chemical. Painkillers in the NFL have been used for years but the recent opioid addiction epidemic has more players wanting to speak out about the problem.

The National Football League recently received backlash from the media because of how they dispense painkillers to players. Lawsuits have been thrown at the league in an act to regulate and prevent the abuse of opioid and painkiller drugs. This summer, one player was denied access to medical marijuana to treat pain even though he has been outspoken about his addiction to painkillers.

What Every NFL Player Endures and Why They Need Painkillers

Being a contact sport, football has always been physically demanding. Every team has medical personnel that is responsible for dispensing drugs to the team members. And because the competition is stiff, an athlete has to be in good shape every game. This means looking for alternatives to get rid of the pain, and using painkillers is an easy way out.

Muscle pains, fatigue, and exhaustion are a common everyday occurrence in the world of NFL games as the body is placed under intense physical activity. Adding the pressure of competition makes a player susceptible to opioid addiction which often leads to overdose.

Media reports state that teams have violated Federal Law and State guidelines concerning the distribution and use of painkillers amongst its players. This has been deeply stated in complaints filed against the confederation that included testimonies from the NFL’s medical personnel. The documents also indicate players from the 32 teams who are allegedly provided with prescribed painkillers without informing them about the possible side effects or even without their full understanding.

Defensive back Steve Jackson for instance once addressed the issue about the use and abuse done by players behind the cameras. He said is being cautious about using injection painkillers and taking a shot just to play the game is fooling your body and trying to cover up what body is really telling you.

What Makes Painkillers Addictive?

Prescribed painkillers are typically administered in manageable amounts. This has to be overseen by an attending physician and dispensing needs to follow State and Federal guidelines. The NFL has been constantly plagued with players who come out of the game or retire with addiction because of unregulated use of prescribed painkillers.

Though these drugs can be used to lessen the effects of the physical affliction of the game, it can be very addictive because of how the chemical concentrates on your mind and neurons. Synthetic endorphin released into the bloodstream creates a surge of intense emotions and pleasure. It blocks pain receptors in the brain which hooks a user even more.

Intense pleasure brought about by constant intake also makes a player want to use them again and again. Small doses increase over time as the body grows tolerant to the effects of the drug. Discomforts when not using the drug is also one quality of painkiller that makes it addictive. Symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, anxiety, and sleeping problems start to manifest as the drug wears off. To relieve these symptoms, you have to use more opioids. With time, dependence on the drug leads to addiction.

Is it Time to Get Rid of Painkillers in the NFL?

In a truthful sense, painkillers cannot be removed from contact sports. It just needs to be regulated by concerned officials. A responsible command and keen observance of the rules need to be followed to prevent addiction and overdose among its players.

The Government will always have its eye on this problem as it adds to the deluge and inundation of drug-related deaths experienced by the population. The National Football League also has to create an internal regulation to change the culture of the sports or even lessen the pressures drawn towards its players.

Football is a demanding sport. But it does not have to go way beyond destroying a person’s life because of gains. This has distorted the outlook of the NLF and the reason why players get addicted to drugs and painkillers.