THE Health & safety of your athletes
Those most at risk for prescription addiction are young people ages 12 through 25.
Signs that one of your athletes may be abusing medication include the following:
- A decline in athletic performance or attendance
- Consistent lateness to practice and/or games
- Sudden distance from other teammates
- Changing relationship with family and friends
- Loss of interest in team activities
- Depression or sudden hostility
To combat this, remember the following:
- Understand that stress over academics, trouble with friends, and depression are all risk factors for painkiller abuse.
- Talk with athletes and parents on a consistent basis about the dangers of prescription painkillers including opioids.
- Encourage parents and athletes alike to request non-opioid painkiller alternatives if they are receiving medical care.
- Review school policies on drug use and encourage administrators and other coaches to consider updating them to include restrictions on abuse of opioid painkillers.
- Allow student athletes time to heal from injuries and monitor their progress through regular communication with the student and his family.