Athletes and Alcohol Addiction: What’s the Connection?

How Many Athletes Struggle With Alcohol Addiction?

Alcohol is a widely accepted and abused substance globally. Due to its ease of accessibility and legality to those of legal age, alcohol consumption has simply become very routine. Consuming alcohol is so normalized that ‘blacking out’ has become ‘par for the course’ for even an average drinker. Unfortunately, alcohol has become a social norm, and even heavy drinking doesn’t seem to be a problem for most. 

Alcohol undoubtedly affects athletic performance and increases the risk of alcohol use disorder (AUD) as well as alcoholism. College alcoholism has become so commonplace that rarely anybody second-guesses people’s drinking habits.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, call WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab today at (877) 640-7820 to learn how we can help.

What Is the Connection Between Athletes and Alcohol Abuse?

Athletes are at an increased risk of alcohol abuse due to the nature of the culture surrounding professional sports and sporting events. They may feel the need to drink to be ‘accepted’ and ‘fit in,’ resulting in heavy drinking over time. Since many athletes get drug tested, alcohol is often a go-to substance that won’t land them a suspension. However, this abusive pattern can result in athletes becoming functioning alcoholics, which is when alcoholism treatment is required. 

Besides alcohol, some of the common addictions amongst athletes include:

  • Marijuana addiction
  • Cocaine addiction
  • Induced mental health disorders that will require dual diagnosis 

Some of the reasons why athletes may turn to drugs or alcohol may be:

  • They are under the impression that it improves athletic performance
  • They are given the false belief that it helps them cope with mental illness
  • Allows them to deal with the pressures of participating in sports

The pressures of being in professional sports come with just as much accomplishment as risk. With the need to perform coupled with injuries and peer pressure, substances of abuse are often the first thing athletes turn to when feeling overwhelmed.

Athletes Who Have Shared Their Stories of Alcohol Addiction and Recovery 

There are many retired athletes, as well as current athletes, who share their stories of alcohol addiction and recovery. Some of the athletes who have battled alcohol and drug addiction and are in remission from addiction include:

  • Darren Waller
  • Brett Farve
  • Lawrence Taylor
  • Babe Ruth
  • John Daly

Parents, coaches, friends, and former athletes must educate future athletes on the harms of consuming alcohol in unhealthy quantities. Preventing alcohol abuse will keep these athletes on the right track so they can look forward to a successful sports career. 

There are countless health ramifications of drinking any amount of alcohol, let alone regular heavy drinking. A specific treatment that is tailored to the individual’s needs, including relapse prevention and SMART recovery, can help direct athletes toward recovery. The long-term abuse of alcohol can also have long-term mental and physical ramifications. Mental and emotional clarity may be sacrificed by the prolonged abuse of alcohol and the central nervous system, which is responsible for coordination. 

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How Can Athletes Get Help for Alcohol Addiction?

Substance abuse prevention is key to ensuring athletes do not turn to alcohol and this can be done by educating individuals on the harms of addiction. A specific treatment program designed for athletes and addiction can help these individuals manage their binge drinking. Quitting alcohol is not easy, but through behavioral therapy, outpatient alcohol treatment, and individual therapy, recovery from alcohol use disorder is possible.

Athletes can get help through alcohol addiction recovery programs at WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab. Alcohol rehabilitation will assist patients in learning how to manage the urge to drink through various coping mechanisms. If the athlete has been abusing alcohol for an extended time, a period of medical detox will take place.

Through partial hospitalization programs and sober living homes, those who struggle with substance use disorders can get the help they need. WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab has helped college athletes who notice that drinking alcohol harms their lives and prospective careers seek and sustain sobriety. Our team is available 24/7 to take your call. The sooner you give us a call and get into treatment, the faster you’ll be able to live the life you intended for yourself. Call us now.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

Jackie has been involved in the substance abuse and addiction treatment sector for over five years and this is something that she is truly eager about. She has a passion for writing and continuously works to create informative pieces that not only educate and inform the public about the disease of addiction but also provide solutions for those who struggle with drug and alcohol abuse.