A study conducted by the Washington University shows that NFL Players are prone to abusing the use of painkillers, especially during Super Bowls. However, what seems to be quite alarming is that this habit continues into retirement.
According to the study, retired National Football League players who excessively use opioid painkillers while still playing tend to continue using the drug even after they leave the sport. Moreover, they have discovered that more than half of the NFL players are enslaved to the drug. In fact, there are more than 71% of the players who are abusing it while playing and 15% admits to continuously misusing the drug after they retire.
Frank Gifford, a former newscaster and member of NY Giants stated ‘Pro football is like nuclear warfare. There are no winners, only survivors.’ His statement is further supported by the findings in Cottler’s report. The rate of opioid misuse among NFL players is three times more than the lifetime rate of nonmedical use of the drug among the general public.
Misuse is defined as taking a drug more than what it is prescribed for. If you use it in a way other than it is prescribed, that is abuse as well. Finally, if you use it for a different reason then you are also abusing the drug.
To conclude the study, NFL players were misusing the painkiller during play for moderate to severe pain, undiagnosed concussions and drinking too much alcohol in one week. Undiagnosed concussions were reported to be at 81% among misusers.
What is Opioid Painkiller?
It is any chemical that resonate opiates in its pharmacological effects. It binds with opioid receptors that are found in the central and peripheral nervous system as well as in the gastrointestinal tract. The receptors control both the psychoactive and somatic effects of the drug.
Medical Uses of Opioid
- Acute pain – opioids are effective to cure acute pain and they are usually prescribed to a person who has undergone surgery. They also play an important role in palliative care to help ease disabling pain that may be experienced by patients who have cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic diseases.
- Shortness of Breath – opioids are found to help with shortness of breath that is suffered by patients with cancer and COPD.
- Chronic non-cancer Pain – although some people take opioids to relieve them from non-chronic conditions like headache and back pain, this is strongly discouraged by medical professionals. When used this way, opioids are said to do more than damage than good to the patient.