Substance abuse and performance-enhancing drugs have been an issue among athletes for a very long time. There are three main areas of concern: Performance Enhancing Drugs, prescription medications, and mood altering drugs. For athletes, the temptation, pressure, and availability of all three are different from the general public.
Performance Enhancing Drugs (Steroids)
Some athletes will do anything to gain a competitive advantage. The battle cry of “win at all costs” can have devastating consequences. It can be difficult to avoid temptation when faced with the reality that you are at a disadvantage when others are cheating. Part of the scheme needs to be fully understanding that there are damaging effects that extend beyond getting caught and banned. The physical risk damage is enormous, including death. You need to know all the facts. If you do, in most cases, your choice will be obvious.
Being an athlete is a painful proposition. The temptation to use pain medications for temporary relief, especially before an event, is always there. Unfortunately, the possibility of relying on them and becoming addicted to them is always there as well. Learning to recognize when you are crossing over the line into dependence is essential. Also essential is understanding that no single event is important enough to put your body at risk for. Proper medical supervision absolutely has to be involved when you are in pain, unable to sleep, or when you are having problems concentrating.
Drugs and Alcohol
Playing hard and living hard often go hand in hand. As an athlete, the peer pressure, combined with the fact that you are surrounded by more “enablers” than most, make drug and alcohol problems more difficult. For you, learning to cope with the situation requires more effort. Coping is a skill. It can be learned. I will teach you.
If you are already abusing drugs or alcohol, it’s time to step up to the plate. You need to understand the consequences. You likely need both medical and psychological help. Right now is a good time to be honest with yourself and to do what needs to be done. I will help you begin.