Athletes who are driven to succeed may also be driven towards addiction. That is not to say all athletes succumb to addictive tendencies but temptation to stay on top of the game can often push people into dark corners of addiction to find ways of keeping that edge strong. Helping athletes recover from addiction takes some focused and intentional work but it is possible to recover and heal from addiction.
Turning to addiction is not just something athletes do, it is a problem worldwide. Abuse of controlled substances take places across all sports and athletic competitions as well. Various aspects of athletic life are conductive to drug abuse: medication of injuries, coping with stress, life on and off the court, track or other arena, and even post retirement from the sport. Consuming drugs in a high-pressure, high-risk environment presents a significant risk of developing addiction. Drug and alcohol use are believed to be higher among athletes than the general population, simply due to the high-risk environment of competition.
Treatment for Athletes
When it comes down to treating athletes who struggle with substance addiction, certain elements and methods of healing are often applied. Individual circumstances will determine first stages of treatment to ensure a safe environment. In cases of extreme addiction, where the detox process can cause unwelcome side effects including nausea, vomiting, depression, anxiety, and more, medical professionals can be on hand to help administer anti-anxiety drugs. With help, an athlete can learn how to protect against future instances of drug cravings through treatment.
Athlete Mindset and Recovery
Tapping into the mind of an athlete can help build recovery. Sports psychologists can help athletes improve performance, rebuild their mental strategies, and discover new passion for their sport. Learning to cope with the immense pressures helps but diving into exercise in a healthy way is a great recovery tool for athletes. Many athletes are used to conditioning and training on a daily basis. The important key to remember is how to incorporate exercise without it becoming a secondary addiction in recovery. All the while, the athlete will need nutritional support and counseling to help guide him or her forward as addiction can rob people of vital nutrients. This becomes key when training for a sport or as an athlete to stay focused on healthy, whole foods, and eating well to boost mood and physical ability, along with keeping up with recovery.
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