Becoming an athlete takes years of training, practice and endurance combined with a healthy lifestyle and innate talent. Professional sports players are some of the most popular celebrities. But there’s a dark side to the lifestyle of being a star athlete — substance abuse.
Many of today’s top athletes have struggled with addiction to drugs or alcohol at some point in their careers, whether to overcome pain or cope with intense stress. The risk of athletes becoming addicted is very real.
If you’re an athlete, you may feel like you’ve been held to a higher standard. You’re taught to push the limits of endurance and perform well under extraordinary pressure. But this doesn’t make you immune to addiction. Specialized addiction treatment for athletes may be the key to overcoming substance abuse and making a comeback so you can do what you love.
Why Do Athletes Need Specialized Treatment?
Professional and college athletes face unique mental and physical challenges that most people don’t encounter. The reasons why athletes may turn to using drugs or alcohol include:
- Intense pressure to perform well
- Spotlight in the public eye
- Relieve physical pain
- Recover from injuries
- Enhance performance
- Improve socialization
- Deal with depression
- Retirement from a sport
The unique circumstances faced by athletes call for specialized addiction treatment with caring, compassionate experts. These specialized addiction programs teach athletes healthy coping skills so they can complete treatment and return to their sport with renewed optimism.
Signs of Addiction Among Athletes
If you or someone you care for is an athlete, there are a few signs that could point to a substance use problem. One of the most noticeable symptoms is a sharp change in performance, either positive and negative. Other physical and behavioral signs to look out for include:
- Flushed skin
- Slurred speech
- Dilated pupils
- Gastrointestinal issues, like diarrhea or vomiting
- Difficulty focusing
- Visible anxiety or depression
- Drastically changing mood swings
- Behavioral changes
- Drug paraphernalia
Substance Abuse Treatment Options for Addicted Athletes
It can be difficult for athletes to admit they need help. A lifetime of competing may cause you to believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness. But addiction is more than just a lack of willpower. It’s a serious health condition that requires medically based treatment.
The right recovery program can turn your life and career around. Whether you’re looking for an inpatient program or outpatient care that doesn’t take you off the field, Gateway provides evidence-based treatment that works.
We know that one size does not fit all. That’s why we design a personalized approach to your care based on your specific needs. This ensures the best possible experience and positive outcome.
If you’re looking for substance abuse treatment as an athlete, contact Gateway today to discuss your individualized treatment options.