The misuse and over-prescription of opioids is one of the most significant public health problems in the United States today. Misuse can lead to physical and mental impairment and even death.
Opioids are freely and regularly given to NFL players who experience chronic pain from sports-related injuries. On game day, players line up for their weekly “T-Train” shot and/or Vicodin dose. This practice creates a black market of these dangerously addictive pills in the locker room. As a result, NFL players are more likely to use and abuse opioids than the general population.
“In a months-long investigation involving dozens of former players, as well as their attorneys, physicians, and addiction counselors, what emerges is a picture of a professional league so swamped by narcotics that it closes its eyes to medical malpractice by many of its doctors and trainers… Since the advent, in the 1980s, of modern narcotics like Vicodin and Percocet, and then later OxyContin, team doctors and trainers have dispensed pills in the millions to keep hurt players practicing and playing.” Men’s Journal