30 Famous Athletes Who Have Battled Drug Addiction & Alcoholism

Or additional guides, below are some of our most popular and recommended. If you or someone you love is struggling with drug or alcohol misuse, rest assured that help is available and recovery is possible. Michael Irvin, who placed ninety-second on the NFL Network’s “Top 100 Players of All-Time” list, was once busted for cocaine and marijuana possession. In 1995, the NBA permanently banned Roy Tarpley for his alcohol use. Despite that he had previously won two majors, he went six years without a professional victory as a result of his alcohol abuse. Basketball player Rasheed Wallace was arrested at a traffic stop in 2002 for marijuana possession.

athletes addiction

Leaving the game can be a difficult transition for athletes who are not prepared to retire and miss the thrill of competition. Athletes may use drugs for several reasons and not all are considered to be misuse. There are circumstances where an athlete may be prescribed a drug for a specific reason.

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The finding that competitive athletes exhibit greater passion and dedication than leisure exercisers is somewhat obvious, and it is in sharp contrast with the paralleling high exercise addiction scores. In fact, a high score of exercise addiction may complement the high level of passion and dedication in the elite athlete in a positive perspective. The latter is a sensitive index of the level athletic involvement or competition, since national/international athletes only differed from local/regional athletes in their level of dedication to their sport.

Some individuals find behavioral therapy helpful, and those who have a severe addiction may obtain relief from withdrawal symptoms with antidepressants and medications used to help restore hormonal balances. Speak with a health professional to learn the best option for your situation. Teens and young adult athletes are particularly vulnerable to drug abuse, perhaps because their peers and role models easily influence them. For example,about one in five malesbetween the ages of 18 and 25 think performance-enhancing drugs are the only way to become a professional athlete.

One robust finding in this investigation was that athletes participating in sport competitions score higher on exercise addiction, harmonious passion, obsessive passion, and dedication than non-competitive leisure exercisers. These results are in concordance with past reports from the literature (Blaydon & Lindner, 2002; Pierce et al., 1993; Youngman & Simpson, 2014). Incidences of high risk for exercise addiction range between 7% and 42% in the athletic population, while the figure is around 3% in the non-competitive leisure exercisers (Szabo, 2010; Szabo et al., 2015).

  • Effects of four weeks of high-intensity interval training and creatine supplementation on critical power and anaerobic working capacity in college-aged men.
  • Reardon CL, Factor RM. A systematic review of diagnosis and medical treatment of mental illness in athletes.
  • A study entitled Injury, Pain, and Prescription Opioid Use Among Former National Football League Players found 52 percent of the players used opioids during their NFL career, with 71 percent reporting misuse.
  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that the “arts, entertainment and recreation” industry ranks second in past-month rates of substance use disorder.
  • Realizing that addiction is a game that cannot be won can be the first real step in moving toward recovery.
  • But a new study shows that, in the absence of injury, athletes …

An earlier study found that highly competitive athletes, scoring high on obsessive passion, demonstrated higher levels of well-being than athletes scoring high on harmonious passion (Amiot, Vallerand, & Blanchard, 2006). In contrast, low competitive athletes scoring high on obsessive passion showed lower levels of well-being than those scoring high on harmonious passion. Later, Vallerand recommended that more research is needed on passion and addiction in competitive athletes. Nevertheless, since then no research has been conducted to examine the relationship between types of passion and athletic involvement. Nutritional supplements include vitamins, minerals, herbs, extracts, and metabolites.39 Importantly, the purity of these substances cannot be guaranteed, such that they may contain banned substances without the athlete or manufacturer being aware.

Surprising link between athletics and addiction

Uvacsek M, Nepusz T, Naughton DP, Mazanov J, Ranky MZ, Petroczi A. Self-admitted behavior and perceived use of performance-enhancing vs psychoactive drugs among competitive athletes. There is a research base demonstrating that many doping agents are in fact performance-enhancing. However, some substances , used in an effort to enhance performance, have little data to back up their effectiveness for such a purpose. Note that the studies cited in this paper are chosen as being historically important or representative of the bulk of the research on the topic, and the broad overview provided in this paper does not aim to cite all evidence on the effects of these substances. Additionally, research on this topic is limited by the difficulty in performing ethical studies due to the high doses of doping agents used, potential side effects, and lack of information on actual practice.

During this process, the provider helps athletes to clarify conflict among their values, motives, interest, and behaviors. In the event that an athlete and his or her medical providers feel it necessary, for documented medical reasons, that he or she continue to take a banned substance, WADA may consider granting a therapeutic use exemption, a concept mentioned earlier. A therapeutic use exemption must be on file before here’s how caffeine, sugar, and alcohol impact your arthritis an athlete tests positive for the substance allowed by that therapeutic use exemption. Medical detox involves close professional supervision and assistance as you go through withdrawal and your body rids itself of all traces of the drug. Doctors can also prescribe medicine to help ease withdrawal and prevent a relapse. Near the end of the detox, you will be provided with options for continuing your road to recovery.

Over time, they may begin to misuse their prescriptions—eventually becoming both physically and psychologically dependent on these medications. Prescription painkillers are one of the most commonly abused drugs among professional athletes and are used to manage pain and keep playing despite any injuries. In addition, many young athletes are given prescription drugs to deal with the pressure of competition while keeping up with their training and studies. While substance abuse is common among college students, the risk can be higher among a school’s athletes.

Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed thousands of pages for accuracy and relevance. Our reviewers consistently monitor the latest research from SAMHSA, NIDA, and other reputable sources to provide our readers the most accurate content on the web. Cleveland Browns safety Don Rogers died of cocaine poisoning less than a week before his wedding. San Francisco Giants member Tim Lincecum was stopped in 2009 for a routine traffic violation and admitted to marijuana possession.

Ethical permission for the study was obtained from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain. The study was conducted in full accordance with the ethical principles for research with human subjects of the Helsinki Declaration , as well as in concordance with the published guidelines for ethical considerations in research involving human participants . There are several treatment options available for those looking to end their painkiller addiction.

He entered rehab in 1987 but later relapsed and was suspended from playing in the 1995 season. Midfielder soccer star Diego Maradona struggled with a twenty-year cocaine addiction, leading to three suspensions and multiple failed drug tests during his career. NHL enforcer Derek Boogaard became addicted to prescription pain medication. MLB’s four-time World Series champion Darryl Strawberry has tainted his resume with cocaine and alcohol use. Our adult training programs are created to suit any fitness level and help you achieve more.

Not only is alcohol and drug use a way to blow off steam for these students, it is also used to deal with depression and enhance performance. Sports leagues address drug or alcohol abuse with some strict rules. In the United States, each of the four most popular leagues — the NFL, MLB, MBA, and NHL — screen the signs of a high functioning alcoholic their athletes for drug use at least once per year. Inpatient treatment programs are those in which a person lives in a facility for the duration of treatment. Services offered can include intensive group, individual, and family therapy, detox, aftercare, medication management, and various amenities.

Performance-Enhancing Drugs

There have been many headlines in recent years about the potentially negative impacts contact sports can have on athletes’ brains. But a new study shows that, in the absence of injury, athletes … Researchers found female and male collegiate athletes take approximately the same chronic heavy drinking leads to serious risk of dementia, study warns amount of time to recover from a concussion, with subtle differences in recovery time depending on the type of sports … One of the recovering addicts who lost his sport to injury was a hockey enforcer — players who find a role on the team standing up physically for teammates.

athletes addiction

Long-term use of painkillers leads to physical and psychological dependence, making the user unable to feel normal without a regular dose. At this point, stopping or reducing your use of analgesics can cause uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, making you unable to control your cravings and compulsively keep using the narcotic. Some elite athletes cited losing their ability to participate in sport through injury or being cut from a team as a factor that contributed to their addiction. “While others on his team were older and may have started drinking prior to age 16, he hadn’t because he came from a family with a background of alcoholism. His father sheltered them from drinking and made a point of hiding ‘the evil side of drinking,'” said de Grace. “Once he started playing junior A, and as the youngest player, he to be part of the team, and his substance abuse escalated from there.” After all, sport and physical activity go hand in hand with good mental health — or so conventional wisdom would suggest.

Other prescription drugs

Drug testing typically occurs only in organized, competitive sports. At the college level, organizations such as the National Collegiate Athletic Association60 and individual member institutions conduct standard drug testing programs and enforce penalties for positive tests. And though sport participation in itself is a healthy activity, de Grace noted it is the culture that puts some people at an additional risk of substance addiction. She said some individuals interviewed even expressed concern about engaging in their sport at a recreational level in the future. Athletes may use appearance and performance-enhancing drugs seeking to improve perceived physical appearance and muscle mass or to maximize athletic performance.

List of Athletes Who Misused Drugs

Athletes face tremendous pressure to perform and win, sometimes at any cost. Some athletes turn to performance-enhancing drugs like steroids or amphetamines to gain a competitive edge. Others rely on illegal or prescription drugs to manage pain from injuries. Some seek to relieve pressure-induced stress through the use of alcohol, marijuana, or other addictive substances. Use or misuse of these substances can lead to addiction, also known as substance use disorder. Subsequently, a multiple regression analysis was used to examine the association between exercise addiction, passion , and dedication to the sport.

The two most dangerous long-term effects of painkiller abuse are death, often due to overdose, and an increased risk of heroin addiction. Tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal symptoms all contribute to making it difficult to stop or manage painkiller abuse, which leads to addiction. Though a full spectrum of sports was represented in the study — including gymnastics, martial arts, rowing and dance — most participants competed in team sports, hockey in particular. As she was planning her study to look into the role physical activity and sport play in the development of substance addiction, Laurie de Grace was forewarned that she may have trouble finding any recovering addicts with a sporting background to speak with.

Therefore, it is not surprising that many individuals use exercise as a means of coping with stress (Berczik et al., 2012). However, sports and exercise – ironically – may also be a source of stress (Stevens, Loudon, Yow, Bowden, & Humphrey, 2013). The need for high volume of exercise and a loss of control over it is referred to as “exercise addiction” (Berczik et al., 2014; Szabo, 2010). WADA has also taken the lead in the development of the athlete biological passport concept.61 WADA’s athlete biological passport operating guidelines took effect in 2009. The fundamental principle of the athlete biological passport is based on the monitoring of selected parameters over time that indirectly reveal the effect of doping, as opposed to the traditional direct detection of doping by analytical means. This concept gained momentum as a result of questions raised during the 2006 Olympic Winter Games surrounding suspensions of athletes by their federations following health checks that reported high hemoglobin levels.

At The Recovery Village, medical professionals offer customized programs that suit the needs and circumstances of each client. This process begins with an initial assessment followed by a treatment plan and careful monitoring. The facility provides medical detox, inpatient and outpatient care, and aftercare services. You can also check your insurance coverage online now to determine whether your insurance provider will cover rehabilitation.

College basketball player Len Bias and professional hockey player Derek Boogaard both died of fatal drug overdoses. Adderall is a prescription stimulant used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Research suggests it may improve alertness, focus, and reaction time.2, 24 Like other stimulants, athletes may use Adderall to enhance performance, control fatigue, and lose weight. Athletes may use or misuse both prescription and illicit drugs for various reasons. Regardless of the reasons why, athletes who misuse drugs can experience serious long-term health and/or life effects, such as legal problems, bans from a sport, or even overdose.

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