Drug use and sport-A commentary on: Injury, pain and prescription opioid use among former National Football League football players by Cottler et al.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

Abstract

The accompanying paper by Cottler et al. reports on findings from a telephone survey study that examined opioid analgesic use and misuse by U.S. professional football players. The study shows high rates of misuse of these medications, and provides an opportunity to consider the intersection between sports and drug use. While in recent years there has been increasing focus upon the use of performance enhancing drugs (e.g., steroids) in athletes, the present report provides valuable information about a relatively unexplored but important topic: opioid analgesic misuse by athletes. The data provided show that misuse of opioids in this population is cause for concern, suggest that study of other groups of athletes should be undertaken, and that further assessment of opioid use in football players is also needed. The study also provides an opportunity to conceptualize drug (and non-drug) use in athletes, as a means to either return athletic functioning to a previous level of performance, or to enhance functioning. Discussions of drug use in sports need to appreciate the complexity of such use, which can be indicated and appropriate under certain circumstances, but which can also be inappropriate and problematic under others-for example, for drugs such as opioid analgesics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-10
Number of pages3
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Volume116
Issue number1-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011

Keywords

  • National Football League
  • Opioid analgesics
  • Performance enhancing drugs
  • Sports

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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