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Athletes and Addiction

Professional athletes handle many pressures such as being in the spotlight, the pressures of performance, and huge pressures from sponsors and advertisers. It’s no wonder they think they are immune to the dangers of alcohol and drug addiction. The “I can handle it” attitude has brought many an athlete to addiction. This attitude coupled with the immediate availability of nearly anything they could think of is a dangerous combination.

As these players carry the burdens of the game, the dangers and pressures of the party atmosphere might seem quite minor. Truth be told, addiction has affected many athletes. Athletes such as, Thomas (Hollywood) Henderson, Lawrence Taylor, Jennifer Capriati, Darryl Strawberry, Diego Maradona, Andre Agassi, Jon Daly, Len Bias, and Theo Fleury.  More recently Johnny Manziel, Michael Phelps and Randy Gregory’s have had drug and alcohol issues.  Each of these athletes has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars to their addiction.

One thing that these athletes have in common is their competitive streak, which can keep them from asking for help. They look at asking for help as a weakness. Alcoholics and addicts are plagued with the thinking that they are unique and special and that they can handle it. Asking for help isn’t part of the identity athletes construct for themselves and have others build around them.

These athletes could benefit from a shift in thinking. Addiction is a health issue, not a moral issue. Elite athletes have to take great care with their bodies, as their bodies are their instruments and their source of income. They spend many hours each week in training, practice, fine-tuning, and caring for their instrument. If they can lessen the odds, there’s a greater chance of actually enjoying the success that they’ve worked so hard for. After all, addiction is a not a game that can be won.

Above it All is a comprehensive addiction rehabilitation center committed to helping individuals and their loved ones understand addiction and gain mastery over it. Intake counselors are available right now. Call us today [phone].

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