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Athletes and Painkiller Addiction

Athletes and Painkiller AddictionMany athletes experience high levels of pain and may take painkillers. While painkillers are often effective and useful, they can cause addiction if someone uses them too much or for too long. Many Des Moines athletes have access to painkillers and even a legitimate reason to use them, but they may struggle with addiction during their athletic career and afterwards. If you or a loved one deals with this potentially crippling problem, get help today before irreparable damage occurs.

How Painkiller Addiction Develops

Athletes often abuse opioid painkillers like hydrocodone, morphine, codeine and oxycodone. They may begin using these drugs for legitimate reasons, and a doctor may prescribe them for severe or recurring pain. The problem is when Des Moines athletes continue using painkillers after pain subsides. When opioids are available, athletes may use them to treat any and every pain, which can quickly lead to overuse. Overuse can give way to dependency or addiction.

Painkiller Withdrawal Symptoms

When an opioid addict stops taking a drug, the following physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms can occur:

  • Fatigue, weakness and excessive yawning
  • Uncontrollable shaking
  • Cramping
  • Cold-like symptoms including chills, aches, sneezing and fever
  • Digestive problems including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Anxiety, panic attacks and depression
  • Paranoia
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty sleeping

If one or more of these withdrawal symptoms are present, seek help immediately.

How to Manage Painkiller Use If You Are an Athlete

If you are an athlete, it is okay to use painkillers to treat pain. However, it is important to remember that regular use increases the risk for abuse and addiction, so Des Moines athletes should be extremely careful with doses. End painkiller use as quickly as you can: when your pain subsides, stop taking your prescription medication. Continued use only endangers your health, so have frequent dialogues with doctors and coaches about your pain and medication.

Athletes may experience great temptation to abuse drugs due to intense pressure to push their bodies to higher levels of performance. Regular painkiller use means the body cannot escape one of the biggest factors that slows it down. When drugs give athletes an unnatural advantage, those athletes are cheating.

Opioid Addiction Help

If you are a Des Moines athlete struggling with painkiller addiction, please seek help. Our 24 hour, toll-free line is available for information and support. You are capable of being free from addiction, so start fighting today.