If you participate in any kind of sport, some level of physical risk is involved. Whether you participate in a competitive league or just exercise on a regular basis, at some point you will likely face some form of injury. Statistics show that chronic pain affects a substantial portion of the population worldwide and as much as 30% of the population in the United States. For this reason, it is no surprise that thousands of athletes need serious medical attention each year.
In many cases, injured athletes are prescribed a painkiller such as Oxycodone, Percodan, Percocet, Demorol, Vicodin or Codeine. These commonly prescribed painkillers are all in the opiate family. Opiates block the pain messages in the nervous system and this eases the user’s sense of pain. In many cases, opiates also create a strong sense of euphoria. While opiates are present, the brain ceases to create its own natural chemicals, which makes the user dependent upon the drug to feel normal.
How Opiate Addiction Works and Develops
When opiates are used over time, a tolerance level develops. Tolerance occurs when the person no longer responds to the effectiveness of the drug. Essentially, it takes a higher dose to achieve the same level of effect. For anyone struggling with pain, this means the effectiveness of the drug starts to diminish. Normally, the individual will be tempted to take a higher dose or take the drugs more often than prescribed. This tolerance leads to dependence and can lead to addiction. If you are prescribed opiates, please talk to your doctor about how you are feeling and share any concerns you have.
Physical and Psychological Opiate Addiction Recovery
An opiate addiction is a difficult disease to recover from. The addiction is both physical and psychological. The body needs opiates in order to function normally. If the supply is cut off, the person will often experience withdrawal symptoms. Some symptoms may include severe headaches, joint and muscle pain, flu-like symptoms, anxiety, depression and even suicidal thoughts.
Withdrawal symptoms can be excruciating and last between a few days and several weeks. Thankfully, the symptoms can be monitored and relief can be provided by medically supervised detox services.
Successful athletes are often proud, independent and highly motivated. These characteristics can make it difficult to admit that help is needed. However, recovery cannot take place until the addiction is addressed. Make no mistake—addiction recovery is hard work. The good news is recovery is possible—with the right tools. A professional treatment facility will address all aspects of the addiction with care and treat patients with the utmost respect.
Get Help Today for Opiate Addiction
You may think that drug addiction is something that happens to irresponsible or reckless people, not hardworking athletes. But this is simply not true. If opiates have a hold on you, it is important to get the help you need. Addiction recovery is nothing to be ashamed of. Many other athletes feel the way you do right now. We know how much you want to get back to the playing field, but there is a better way. Please call our toll-free helpline 24 hours a day, and we will answer any questions you may have and help you take those first steps to freedom. Take control of your life—call today.
 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20797916 The Prevalence of Chronic Pain in United States Adults.
 https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/teaching-packets/neurobiology-drug-addiction/section-iii-action-heroin-morphine/6-definition-tolerance The Neurobiology of Drug Addiction.