Dealing with the Pain of a Sports Injury

The opiate addiction crisis in America has its roots in a wave of prescriptions for pain relief. The rise of opiates as the medical field’s go-to solution for chronic and acute pain led many patients to develop physical dependency on their pain pills. As your tolerance increases you find the prescription no longer satisfies your craving for the drug, and alternatives purchased on the street fill in the gaps. High school and college athletes are a particularly susceptible demographics when it comes to this path to addiction. An injury sustained on the playing field is often treated with a short dose of prescription painkillers. While this may be an effective means to alleviate the pain associated with the injury, there are serious problems with this form of treatment.

Opiates relieve pain by operating on receptors in the human brain. While this is an effective means of pain relief, opiates are powerful drugs with a long list of side effects, many of which are rated as moderate to severe. High school and college athletes have not yet finished developing mentally, and subjecting your brain to opiates can bring on a whole host of unintended consequences. Setting aside the highly addictive nature of opiates for a moment, they interfere with the balance of your natural brain chemistry and can cause a severe depressive episode when your short term dose ends. Additionally, you may find the medication interferes with your cognitive ability, sleep habits, and appetite, all of which would negatively impact your performance both in your chosen sport as well as in the classroom.

The addictive nature of opiates is the main reason they should be avoided, especially by those in their teens or twenties. While they are an effective means of pain relief, the rate of addiction across all demographics is truly staggering. Most physicians have gotten out of the habit of prescribing opiates as pain relief for the acute pains associated with a sports injury, but there are those in the medical community who still subscribe to the belief that opiates are a viable treatment option for their patients. Whether you are the parent of a child who has sustained an injury on the playing field, or if you yourself are an athlete dealing with acute pain accompanying an injury, you should absolutely discuss alternatives to opiates for pain management. Opting out of opiates for pain management could save you a great deal of anguish and turmoil while ensuring your injury does not have too great an impact on your life overall.


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