Relationships Between Sport-Related Injuries and Addiction

Research often focuses on the causations of addiction regarding our genetics, environmental influences, and general upbringing. We focus on the prevalence of suffering from addiction, based on how common it is within our family, peer pressure, or a number of other factors. One thing that we almost always fail to consider is if it is at times just completely random. Anytime someone uses drugs or drinks alcohol for the first time, they never think in a million years that they will become addicted. It only takes one time, though, for some. A common and reoccurring scenario that has led to drug use involves sports injuries, specifically, youth sports injuries. Even the most common of injuries can lead to drug use.

Drug use, especially at an early age, can have numerous detrimental effects on development and long-term physical and mental health. Individuals need the necessary resources and education to prevent or treat addiction, especially if it’s an illness you’ve been struggling with for many years.

Sports Injury Correlation With Drug Use

There are many common sports-related injuries people often experience. These commonalities can include strains, sprains, fractures, back pain, and knee injuries. Soccer players may often experience a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), and football, rugby players, and wrestlers may often experience back injuries, fractures, or other sources of physical pain. Some of these injuries may be serious enough to require surgery, but it sometimes leads to a struggle with long-term chronic pain. Regardless of the outcome or severity of the injury, chances are when someone goes to see a doctor, they may begin having medications prescribed to them. More often than not, those prescriptions are for opioids, and most of us know very well just how severe the opioid epidemic has been over the past few decades.

It’s common for opiates to be prescribed to individuals to treat chronic pain and illnesses. Opioids can be highly addictive. Individuals with a family history of substance use disorder (SUD) may be at significant risk. Nevertheless, those without a history of SUD are still at risk of falling into addiction because of how drug use makes them feel and the chemical changes in the brain. Using opioids causes excessive stimulation of the dopamine reward system. The more frequently opioids are used, the more overstimulated the brain becomes, driving individuals to feel a great need to continue drug use. The physical pain may be eased to some extent but with tremendous risk.

Why Are Sports Injury Related Addictions So Common?

We sometimes see addictions resulting from sports-related injuries in regards to youth-related injuries. Unfortunately, drug use at an early age is dangerous for many other reasons. During our teenage and adolescent years, the brain is not fully developed. Excessive drug use can hinder and alter that development. In some instances, parents will refuse prescription drugs for their children and begin looking for alternative treatment methods. It can be tricky for parents, as they don’t want to see their children in pain, but unfortunately, many alternative approaches can come with some trial and error.

Additionally, adults will also be prescribed opioids for chronic pain they may have been dealing with since a sports injury in their youth. That’s another common experience we often see. Individuals may experience sports-related trauma in high school, but if not severe enough, they may not seek treatment until later on in life. There is also a big difference between treatment plans and the effort they require. Finding an alternative treatment method to prescription drugs takes a lot of research, effort, and motivation. Most people would admit that it’s a lot simpler to take a pill. Unfortunately, it’s not nearly as simple to stop taking those pills if addiction develops.

How Can We Resolve the Issue?

Millions of people have questioned how we can end the opioid crisis for years now, but unfortunately, there’s not one sure solution. For starters, there are many more resources available to individuals suffering from opioid or prescription drug addiction, and thanks to telehealth services, that treatment is becoming more accessible each day.

Another effective way we may be able to reduce the addiction crisis, especially concerning sport-related injuries, is to be more diligent in finding alternative and holistic plans of care. This may include herbal remedies, acupuncture, and physical therapy treatment. Especially if you are already suffering from addiction, finding alternative treatment methods is even more essential. Don’t let your need for treatment of a physical ailment hinder your path to recovery. Choose to find alternative methods of treatment today.

Sport-related injuries can cause physical effects on a person’s short-term and long-term health. Sport-related injuries can also lead a person down a dangerous path of addiction. A common way of treating sports-related injuries and chronic pain, in general, is prescription medications. Many individuals will not always want to take the time to research and put in the effort of practicing alternative treatment methods. Many may even admit that taking a pill is so much easier. For those already suffering from addiction to opioids and prescription drugs, it’s imperative to find alternative methods such as herbal medicines, acupuncture, or alternative methods and therapies. If you or someone you love is struggling with seeking treatment for addiction and managing chronic health issues such as a sports-related injury, reach out to the Lakehouse Recovery Center today. We can help you develop a holistic treatment method designed to help your physical and mental needs. Call (877) 762-3707 today.