Addiction in the Professional Athlete Community

Professional sports are a beloved tradition in the United States, with a long and storied history dating all the way back to the founding of our nation. Professional athletes train their entire lives to be able to perform at the level required by the industry. They risk their physical health and well-being every time they step on the field, fueled by their passion for the sport as well as the adulation they receive from fans. Unfortunately, serious and painful injuries are a fact of life when it comes to professional sports, and players resort to opiates to dull the pain of these injuries so they can continue to perform. Reliance on powerful painkillers to continue playing can easily lead athletes down the path of addiction.

The professional wrestling industry has been plagued by addiction issues among its fighters as well as heartbreaking deaths from overdoses. The nature of pro wrestling demands a great deal of physical pain and torment be withstood by the participants, so it is no surprise that powerful opiate painkillers are pervasive in the pro wrestling community. As wrestlers continue to fight it out in the arena, they sustain additional painful injuries and require more pills to keep on performing. This is a vicious cycle that often has only two endings: the wrestler gets to a point where they are unable to continue fighting and are forced to retire or they are met with an untimely death from an accidental overdose. The lucky few who are able to end the cycle on their terms and achieve sobriety share their story with anyone who will listen so that others may avoid their fate.

Sadly this same story is repeated throughout professional sports teams. Wherever there is a greater occurrence of painful injury combined with a business model that rewards “playing through the pain” there is bound to be an abundance of substance abuse in order to achieve the required levels of performance. From football players to basketball stars, addiction has struck down far too many promising athletes in their prime, leaving heartbroken families and fans in its wake. For those serious athletes with their eye on a college and perhaps even professional sports career, please take the experiences of those who have come before you to heart. Opiates may be a tempting quick and easy fix for the pain resulting from an injury, allowing you to continue to play your heart out on the field. Succumbing to this temptation could prove deadly for you, and no amount of success in the professional sports world is worth that great a risk to your life.

At Evolutions, we have developed a holistic treatment approach which addresses any chronic pain you are experiencing with effective, non-addictive therapeutic practices. As an athlete, you should explore these alternative treatment methods as a means to truly heal and recover from your injuries rather than masking the pain with opiates. If you have developed an addiction to painkillers, call our Admissions Counselors today at 833-818-3031 so we may help you overcome your substance abuse disorder and treat your injuries in a healthier way.


Evolutions is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located in beautiful South Florida. Our holistic approach to addiction treatment centers around addressing and healing the underlying issues at the root of addiction, rather than merely medicating symptoms away.

Our treatment program includes individual and group-based therapy to help clients understand and manage their symptoms and emotions.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, alcoholism, or any co-occurring disorders please call us at (833) 818-3031 or