Drug Free Sport Staff Writers

Drug Free Sport Staff Writers

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Drug Abuse and Addiction

As a student-athlete, you may know of someone who is struggling with drug abuse and addiction. It may be a close friend, a teammate, classmate or family member. Substance abuse and addiction can cause problems in the classroom, on the playing field and at home. It can often times leave individuals feeling alone and helpless, a potentially dangerous combination. It is for these reasons, that it is important to have a good understanding of the signs and symptoms of drug abuse and addiction.
Common signs of drug abuse and addiction:
-          Skipping class or flunking class, missing practice, and neglecting other day-to-day responsibilities
-          The use of drugs and/or alcohol during high risk situations (drinking and driving, before practice or a game)
-          Mood swings (fights with friends and/or family members, partners)
-          Legal issues (DUI, selling of drugs, possession charges)
-          A built up tolerance to drugs
-          Withdrawal symptoms
-          Constantly thinking about drug use
-          Understanding the risks of drug use, but continuing to participate
-          Losing interest in sports, socializing and other hobbies
Physical, behavioral and psychological warning signs:
-          Deterioration of physical appearance, grooming habits
-          Tremors, slurred speech
-          Bloodshot eyes, larger than normal pupils
-          Changes in appetite or sleep patterns
-          Sudden weight loss or gain
-          Always a need for extra money
-          Acting secretive about everything
-          Sudden change in friends
-          Lack of motivation
-          Anxious, fearful and paranoid
-          Angry outbursts and easily agitated
Recognizing that you or someone you know has a drug abuse or addiction problem is the first step, and often the most difficult step, on the road to recovery. Seeking help and finding support is crucial to any addiction recovery, and it takes a tremendous amount of courage to recognize that you or someone you know may need help.
If you feel that you or someone you know has an addiction problem, be proactive and contact any of the following individuals for support:
-          Family member
-          A close friend
-          A therapist or counselor
-          Your health care provider
-          Your athletic trainer, coach and/or another administrator
 Always remember, you are not alone and there are individuals that are willing to help!
 For more information on drug abuse and addiction, please visit the following resources:

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