We live in a society that gets its news 24-hours a day and unfortunately athletes and drug abuse makes news. If you look back over the years, there is no shortage of stories surrounding athletes use of anabolic steroids and other performance enhancing drugs as well as blood doping, involving athletes such as Lance Armstrong, Barry Bonds, Jose Canseco, Roger Clemens and the list goes on. However, steroids and performance enhancing drugs are not the only drug issue.

Drug Abuse among Athletes

Drug abuse today among athletes includes prescription pain killers as well as some illicit drug use and it includes athletes in professional sports, but also high school and college athletes. There is an enormous amount of pressure to perform and to push through the pain. In 1996 Bret Favre, who at that time was the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, spent 45 days in drug rehab for Vicodin abuse that occurred as a result of an injury and his need to play through the pain. The Packers won the Super Bowl that year and Favre went into rehab.

Prescription Painkiller Abuse

Prescription painkillers such as Percocet, Vicodin, Lortab and Oxycontin seem to be the drugs of choice among athletes because the little pills are very effective at blocking the pain so the athletes can play. Opiate painkillers block the opioid receptors that deliver pain messages to the central nervous system and brain. Instead of feeling pain, the individual has feelings of euphoria and invincibility. The problem rests in the fact that the average athlete takes painkillers frequently and in massive amounts. Overtime a tolerance will develop which results in the athlete having to increase the dose. Under these circumstances, dependency is a certainty and overdose and death are very real possibilities.

Accomplices in the Problem

Sadly, the athletes are not alone in their drug abuse as the team doctors, as well as trainers and coaches each play their own role in enabling the athlete’s drug abuse today in their ability to prescribe the medication or get the prescription for the athlete or simply giving the athlete the drugs. Prescription painkiller abuse has also led to illicit drug abuse among athletes.

Can We Fix the Problem?

Drug detox for athletes has to be able to tackle the drug abuse safely and effectively, while maintaining a certain level of privacy and confidentiality for the athlete. There are not a lot of famous athletes checking into hospital detox or attending public 12 step meetings.

Most doctors agree that the best method for drug detox is IV therapy medical detox. Intravenous therapy is relevant because it allows adjustments to the medication which makes it possible for the patient to remain comfortable through the withdrawal symptoms. As the withdrawal symptoms change, the medication can be increased or decreased for an immediate effect.

Author's Bio: 

Lara Schuster writes for Gallus Medical Detox Centers. Gallus Detox provides safe drug and alcohol detox with customized IV-therapy to comfortably alleviate withdrawal symptoms and patients are monitored 24/7 by ICU level nurses. This proven detox method was developed by Dr. Patrick Gallus after 15-plus years as an emergency room physician caring for alcohol and drug addicted patients. Gallus Medical Detox Centers features upscale private rooms, gourmet meals, Wi-Fi and HDTV. Patient confidentiality is always protected.