NFL Injuries Leading to Medication Abuse
Many people addicted to prescription medications do not think that they have a problem. These addictions often begin as an injury. Few realize how quickly dependency can spiral out of control.
NFL injuries are treated with pain medications by team doctors. Are the players being responsibly medicated? Are they treated in ways that are for their benefit or in the team’s best interest? Are the ways they are being treated for pain creating problems with addiction for which the NFL will not take responsibility?
Former Buffalo Bills linebacker Darryl Talley claims:
“When you’re done playing, you’re like a piece of meat. They treat you like, None of what you say is our fault. None of these injuries happened from playing football. They tell you whether or not you hurt. None of us playing this game is normal. To compare an NFL player’s pain threshold to the average person who’s never done it? They’re going to tell me I don’t hurt? But it’s just an unbelievable fight to deal with the pain.”
Due to accounts of irregularities in handling prescription painkillers, multiple NFL teams’ former players have entered into a class action lawsuit accusing NFL teams of misusing narcotics and other pain medications to keep players on the field despite injuries. Some blame the culture of football and the NFL.
According to law enforcement sources, investigators are focused less on individuals than on a broad range of alleged illegal dispensation practices in the NFL, which may facilitate addictions and pill trafficking. DEA spokesman Rusty Payne confirmed NFL physicians were being looked into after agents surprised at least five teams with spot checks of medical staffs at stadiums and airports following their Nov. 16 games.
Former NFL linebacker Scott Fujita said he still has a pill bottle, nearly the size of a soda can.
“It was the craziest big pill bottle you’ve ever seen,” he said.
It was given to him by an NFL team physician to treat a single knee injury, yet it contained, he estimates, somewhere between 125 and 150 pills of Percocet, the addictive oxycodone-based painkiller. Another claim was that an assistant trainer passed out narcotic painkillers in unlabeled small manila envelopes before games to whoever raised a hand.
Doctors in the past too frequently handed out pain pills for a quick fix. These included many college and high school athletes. Parents should be aware of how their children are treated.
Change can be slow. Recently the law changed to require opioid prescriptions to be written monthly because they are no longer refillable electronically or over the phone. Time will tell how effective this will be.
We live in a fast paced world and no longer take the time that we should to heal from injuries. This puts many competitive individuals such as CEOs, celebrities, business owners and other professionals at risk for drug use that could lead to misuse or even addiction. Good long term health requires time and effort, but is well worth the investment.