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Painkillers in Pro Hockey (Justin Bourne)

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08-19-2011, 12:27 PM
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David Singleton
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Painkillers in Pro Hockey (Justin Bourne)

This is a pretty sobering article from Justin Bourne (who I love to read as he brings that perspective of someone who has recently played the game).

As we've got (at least) a couple of doctors on the Nashville board, I'd be very interested to hear their thoughts (if any) on what could be done on the problem and the discussion that results from that and the article in general.

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08-19-2011, 12:55 PM
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When I was a student studying athletic training we had as hockey player who was pre-med from Toronto and he had the Merck prescription book in his lap during treatment and he was reading along going. "Took that. Took that. Oh that is the ****."

I at first thought it was a joke....

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08-19-2011, 02:55 PM
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Preds311
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This type of abuse really is quite common along all major sports. These guys are subjected to a massive amount of physical pain during their careers. Tolerance to pain meds added with the ability to easily access these meds makes for a situation to easily abuse.

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08-19-2011, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Preds311 View Post
This type of abuse really is quite common along all major sports. These guys are subjected to a massive amount of physical pain during their careers. Tolerance to pain meds added with the ability to easily access these meds makes for a situation to easily abuse.
lol ... you forgot to qualify some sports (tennis, basketball, bowling) ... was going to include baseball, but then I remember guys getting drilled by 95+ mph pitches in the elbows/heads/ribs

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08-19-2011, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave is a killer View Post
lol ... you forgot to qualify some sports (tennis, basketball, bowling) ... was going to include baseball, but then I remember guys getting drilled by 95+ mph pitches in the elbows/heads/ribs

Major pro sports sorry lol Although I hear oxycotton is running rampent in the professional putt putt circuit

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08-19-2011, 10:50 PM
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PredsV82
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The only thing that would decrease overuse/misuse would be if it became a major issue that the players themselves would talk about and basically make it "taboo"

You cant cut off the supply because there are legit injuries that justify using these meds and of course if a player cant get them directly from a doctor they are readily available illegally.

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08-19-2011, 11:29 PM
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Former Tennessee QB Erik Ainge has been talking a lot about his addiction to painkillers over the past 4-5 months, you can catch him on 104.5 every now and then discussing the subject.

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08-19-2011, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave is a killer View Post
lol ... you forgot to qualify some sports (tennis, basketball, bowling) ... was going to include baseball, but then I remember guys getting drilled by 95+ mph pitches in the elbows/heads/ribs
Tennis elbow and golfer's arm can be quite debilitating. Just from overdoing yard work, I got to the point where I couldn't even pick up my cell phone. Docs put me on meds and it didn't even begin to ease the pain til they added in some steroid shots. I hurt my arm over 2 years ago and it is still sore--even after months of therapy and time away from yard work. Their body is the athlete's livelihood. I can see someone using whatever they could to minimize the pain in order to compete another day.

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08-20-2011, 12:31 PM
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Having experienced drug addiction both personally and as an outsider viewing how it affects people close to me, I can understand this more so than a lot of people. Trust me, it isn't an attribute of which I am proud. I certainly don't list "recovering narcotics addict who totally gets it" on resumes. It is an unbelievably tough position to be in, and it is made even tougher because once you realize where you are at in your life (assuming you are lucky enough to realize it) you understand that it is your own fault. The dilemma arises when you begin to blame yourself, but then that doesn't do anything to actually solve the problem. In fact, nothing can solve the problem. Taking more drugs will temporarily and erroneously lessen the effects, but it is something that will remain with the user for the rest of his or her life. I'm not making excuses or pretending like it's a disease that a person just happened to be born with. Simply, that is how the cycle works. Mix in a mental illness like bi-polar disorder or massive depressive disorder and it's a battle that is virtually impossible to win. There are no simple answers, and the stark reality is that the majority of those who enter this battle will not make it out alive. That's a dark thought, but it's the truth.

edit: this is a subject that is very real to me, and one that is therapeutic to talk about. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask. The more personal ones I would prefer to have PM'd to me, but I'll try to answer anything if I feel like I can.


Last edited by TMI: 08-20-2011 at 12:37 PM.
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08-20-2011, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PredsV82 View Post
The only thing that would decrease overuse/misuse would be if it became a major issue that the players themselves would talk about and basically make it "taboo"

You cant cut off the supply because there are legit injuries that justify using these meds and of course if a player cant get them directly from a doctor they are readily available illegally.
This is what makes alcohol and prescription drug addictions the toughest ones to manage. Alcohol obviously doesn't serve a medical purpose any longer, but both can be legally obtained. Even if you can't legally obtain either, there is a good chance you know someone who can.

edit: Sorry, a thought popped into my head and it bothered me. Volde, you and I have had a relatively peaceful and amiable past. I can't think of a time during which we were ever less than hospitable towards one another because of a disagreement. For the reason I want you to know that I continue to respect you and your opinions. With that said, creating a taboo culture is the absolute worst thing you can do. You might save some fringe addicts, some guys who might develop a problem. Those types are also the easiest to save once a problem presents itself. What you do not address in a taboo environment is the actual addicts. The ones who cannot simply be saved by making them feel bad. What a taboo culture does to those types is drives them deeper underground. They will simply hide their problem. The best course of action is education and treatment. You absolutely have to educate these guys on the very real dangers of drug abuse, and then you have to go the extra mile by treating them when they inevitably abuse a drug. Turning your back, glaring, saying "this is bad", shunning folks, locking them up. These are steps we have tried in the past to not appear to be weak, and those steps have gotten us in a position out of which we may never be able to climb. Education, education, education. When that fails, treat the problem. It's the only way.


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08-20-2011, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by ThirdManIn View Post
This is what makes alcohol and prescription drug addictions the toughest ones to manage. Alcohol obviously doesn't serve a medical purpose any longer, but both can be legally obtained. Even if you can't legally obtain either, there is a good chance you know someone who can.

edit: Sorry, a thought popped into my head and it bothered me. Volde, you and I have had a relatively peaceful and amiable past. I can't think of a time during which we were ever less than hospitable towards one another because of a disagreement. For the reason I want you to know that I continue to respect you and your opinions. With that said, creating a taboo culture is the absolute worst thing you can do. You might save some fringe addicts, some guys who might develop a problem. Those types are also the easiest to save once a problem presents itself. What you do not address in a taboo environment is the actual addicts. The ones who cannot simply be saved by making them feel bad. What a taboo culture does to those types is drives them deeper underground. They will simply hide their problem. The best course of action is education and treatment. You absolutely have to educate these guys on the very real dangers of drug abuse, and then you have to go the extra mile by treating them when they inevitably abuse a drug. Turning your back, glaring, saying "this is bad", shunning folks, locking them up. These are steps we have tried in the past to not appear to be weak, and those steps have gotten us in a position out of which we may never be able to climb. Education, education, education. When that fails, treat the problem. It's the only way.
taboo was probably a poor choice of words. what I was getting at was if the "leadership" type players all were outspoken about it, made it clear that it was unacceptable, but at the same time were supportive of guys who were already there so they would seek help and make it clear that getting into rehab and getting clean was the right thing to do, that would be the best chance for the problem to be alleviated.

to summarize, you need the guys everyone looks up to saying these things:

1. If you already have a problem, get help, we suport you and wont judge you, and the game will be waiting for you when you get back.

2. Anyone who enables an addict needs to be isolated from the susceptible players(this would be doctors and trainers, maybe even agents and "jock sniffers")

3. Young players... dont ever start, and dont be afraid to ask for help if you think you have a problem.

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08-20-2011, 05:24 PM
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TMI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PredsV82 View Post
taboo was probably a poor choice of words. what I was getting at was if the "leadership" type players all were outspoken about it, made it clear that it was unacceptable, but at the same time were supportive of guys who were already there so they would seek help and make it clear that getting into rehab and getting clean was the right thing to do, that would be the best chance for the problem to be alleviated.

to summarize, you need the guys everyone looks up to saying these things:

1. If you already have a problem, get help, we suport you and wont judge you, and the game will be waiting for you when you get back.

2. Anyone who enables an addict needs to be isolated from the susceptible players(this would be doctors and trainers, maybe even agents and "jock sniffers")

3. Young players... dont ever start, and dont be afraid to ask for help if you think you have a problem.
This is a post with which I can agree. I would add a fourth step. I'll preface this opinion with the statement that I feel protection of privacy is one of the most important guards we can have in today's society. Teammates, coaches, friends. They do not have a legal responsibility to keep existing problems confidential. Doctors do. Teammates, coaches, friends, acquaintances who maybe care too much... these people need to take the extra step of contacting family and friends of the subject. When I went through my own struggle I absolutely hated that my family, my close friends, and people I've known my entire life knew about it. In retrospect, the fact that they did know helped me get off of my crutch. I was embarrassed. It also provided a known support structure. They already knew. What harm would it cause to seek help from them when times got tough? I would keep your three as the initial steps, but if those fall short someone has to eventually feel like an ******* by telling mom or dad or brothers or sisters or best friends. It has to happen.


Last edited by TMI: 08-20-2011 at 05:38 PM.
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Old
08-23-2011, 08:15 AM
  #13
David Singleton
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Good conversation.

Tough, tough problem for any league with serious issues to confront.

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