Drug Abuse in Sports

Legacy Healing Center Blog

Drug abuse in sports is a growing and ongoing problem in our society. While stereotypical drug abuse may not seem probable for high-profile athletes, here at our treatment center in Cherry Hill, NJ, we want you to know that abuse of drugs in sports is more common than one would think. Drug abuse occurs in all sports and at most levels of competition. Athletic life may lead to drug abuse for a number of reasons. These reasons can include being used for performance enhancements, to self-treat otherwise untreated mental illnesses, and to deal with stressors, such as pressure to perform, injuries, physical pain, and after one retires from a sport. 


Risking It All for Sports

A player’s identity and self-esteem can be shaped through sports. When athletes play such a powerful role in a  person’s life, they may be willing to risk any long-term health problems for short-term gains in strength, power, or endurance. Sports create this culture of playing through pain only to encourage the mindset of putting competition above all else. 

Athletes are not immune to the struggles of the rest of society. This may lead them to deal with addiction to hundreds of different substances for many different reasons. Athletes are prone to abusing several different kinds of drugs. Many forms of drug abuse in sports have been relevant since ancient times. For instance, the term doping has been around for quite some time and is believed to have originated from the Dutch word “dop” – an alcoholic beverage made of grape skins – and has been used in English since the 1800s.


Why Are Drugs and Substances Banned in Sports?

Using drugs to improve performance in a sport may lead to an athlete being banned and may also harm their health. Using drugs in sports undermines values like fair play and teamwork, which is why using substances to increase performance is a known form of cheating in sports. Countless athletes that use steroids have eventually been caught, with the majority of them paying at the professional level. 


What Is Doping in Sports?

The meaning of doping refers to the use of banned substances in competitive sports. Performance-enhancing drugs, known as PEDs, is another term used for drugs used by athletes to improve their athletic performance. The practice of using performance-enhancing drugs dates back to the first Olympic games in ancient Greece. Back then, substances of choice included things like sheep’s testicles. These organs contained testosterone, one of the ingredients used in the creation of PEDs today.

Eventually, this drug creates the possibility of becoming addictive. Many people, including athletes, don’t realize PEDs can be addictive. They assume that because the drugs don’t necessarily produce any euphoria, they don’t have any addictive potential. However, the often extreme motivation that drives sportspeople to try performance-enhancing drugs makes it easier to become addicted to their effects, despite the adverse effect of drugs in sports. 


Addiction and PEDs

PEDs are addictive due to two primary factors. The first is the behavior of many individuals with substance abuse disorders, creating the compulsive need to seek out and use PEDs. The second is the appearance of withdrawal symptoms when the user cuts back on or completely stops the use of performance-enhancing drugs. PEDs improve physical appearance and strength in a short amount of time, which may eventually result in an addiction developing. We can assist in detoxing from this type of addiction.  

Here at our treatment center in Cherry Hill, NJ, we want you to know that drug abuse in major league sports is a problem to this day. This is why we are here to educate and assist with this issue. No matter the level of addiction, we are here to help. Remember, no one is alone in these circumstances. There are athletes all over the country, at every level of the game, who are struggling with similar issues. 


To learn more about treatment options and Legacy Healing Center in Cherry Hill, NJ, call our team of intake specialists at 888-534-2295.


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