Published on: 13-Jan-2022
When we talk about drug and alcohol addiction in sportsmen, we must understand that they are under constant pressure. Thus, without judgment, let us understand the different issues.
When we talk about alcohol and drug abuse, the first thing that comes to mind is someone suffering independently in silence and isolation.
Although this is not wrong since a patient of addiction generally tends to suffer silently because of the fear of judgment, but they are not all isolated.
For example, sportsmen! There have been many such cases where sportsmen are abusing drugs to boost their performance. Plus, when we talk about alcohol, the stress and the tension makes them consume more alcohol for recreation.
Drugs and alcohol abuse in sportsmen is not much talked about. Therefore, it is important to know about them if you are planning to get into the sports industry or if you know someone and want to protect them from the dark clutches of addiction.
What Is Drug & Alcohol Abuse In Sportsmen?
We are all familiar with the normal drug and alcohol abuse where people literally go to the deep end with these substances.
No matter how little the stress is, they find themselves consuming these substances for the limited euphoria they give. The first and major symptom is that they can’t stay away from it.
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Now, coming back to the drug and alcohol addiction that is seen among sportsmen. Although, alcohol addiction is not that different since it is consumed to fight the excessive amount of stress.
However, the drugs taken are mostly like opioids for immediate pain relief from an injury, which can also numb the nerves. In addition, a very common drug seen in the sports industry is anabolic steroids which are known for boosting performance.
These are, to name a few, in the sports industry.
Things You Should Know About Addiction Among Sportsmen
When we talk about addiction in sportsmen, we have to understand that they are under constant pressure. Somehow buried under the depth of these pressures, they are almost forced by their psyche.
So, let us understand the different issues they go through because of this problem without any judgment.
1. Doing Whatever They Can
It is important to give the proper reasoning behind this addiction so that people don’t misjudge our sportsperson. They are always groomed with the traditional attitude of ‘doing whatever they can’ for the game.
Because of being put under a lot of pressure, they sometimes do not have a choice but to artificially boost their performance. In the 1990s, this was such a common phenomenon among sportsmen that the WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency] had to put a law to restrict some people from ‘doping.’
2. Anabolic Steroids
Now that we have covered the main reason let us find out the different drugs used for this purpose. The first one is quite an infamous one known as anabolic steroids. These are performance-enhancing drugs because of the amount of natural and synthetic testosterone it contains.
These are taken by most sportsmen to cut through the exhaustion from playing for hours.
3. Growth Hormones
These growth hormones are known for increasing height among adults. These kinds of drugs are mostly abused by some basketball players who wish to get into the desired heights for selections.
The HGH hormone un-naturally increases the growth secretion in the pituitary gland, which assists in the growth of other body parts as well.
This is a form of powerful medicinal drug which should never be consumed without a doctor’s prescription. However, more often than not, sportsmen misuse it has excellent anti-inflammatory properties.
This helps them to deal with any physical injury that might occur in the muscle. It is also known for increasing immunity among athletes so that they can get less sick even after extreme exhaustion.
5. Hormone & Metabolism
It is not unknown to anyone that athletes do need to eat a lot. The muscular mass that they have to gain in order to hold the game is excessive. However, sometimes overeating can lead to gaining more weight in the wrong places.
This is why they take hormones for metabolism and growth, which forces the natural flow of their body in a different direction. Yes, it can help for the temporary time being, but at the same time can cause many problems in the future.
6. Mood Swings
Mood swings are very natural for someone consuming such a heavy amount of medicinal drugs. Because when the effects die down, all the exhaustion floods in.
This can easily make someone more prone to some serious mental health problems. Including but not limited to sudden depression, panic attacks, and hypertension. These are also some of the common symptoms seen during their withdrawal from these drugs
Sudden hostile behavior can be caused because of the drug, or it is a product of too much alcohol consumption. Aggression is the first choice of a heavily intoxicated person who has no inhibitions.
At the same time, when the high energy supply of these drugs frails, it can make them even more angry and hostile.
8. Decreased Libido & Shrunk Testicles
Growth and performance improvement steroids have extremely bad side effects, which can cause a lot of problems to a male athlete’s personal life.
These are decreased libido and shrunk testicles; some extreme cases have also reported prostate cancer as a side effect. It is dangerous, to say the least.
9. Liver Cancer
Too much consumption of alcohol is the cause of liver cancer. Some athletes have reported a daily alcohol intake in excessive amounts.
This is one of the reasons why people need to be more aware of these problems. Because it might just be for recreation and turn into a dangerous habit, leading to such deadly ends.
10. Painkillers [Opioids]
As human beings, every athlete is prone to injury, and that’s why they need to stop taking strong painkillers, just so they can go to the next match.
An injury requires rest, but athletes often get addicted to strong opioids and painkillers because the ‘game must go on.’
Let Us Put An End!
As fans of these sports and athletes, we must remember that they are human beings too. They might not be their best self at all times.
They already get a lot of pressure from the inner circle, and let’s not be a part of it. If you know someone who is suffering from addiction, just so they can put their best foot forward in the next game, try to help them.
The post Alcohol And Drug Abuse In Sportsmen: 10 Things You Should Know appeared first on Sports Medicine Weekly.