Athletes take great strides each day, pushing their minds and bodies well beyond their limits. The competitive nature of athletics fuels the drive to push through pain and discomfort to achieve important goals. In the grand scheme of things, pushing through challenges is a great life skill. However, athletes sometimes lean on substances to continue pushing through. When this happens, it’s important to seek drug rehabilitation. This can help athletes recover after experiencing substance abuse while improving their overall health.
Risks of Unmanaged Substance Use
Regardless of your substance of choice, there are tremendous risks associated with substance abuse. Athletes may lean toward substances that improve performance or help them unwind and ease pain after intense workouts.
According to Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation, there are several side effects to consider for athletes using performance-enhancing drugs and other substances, including:
- Liver and kidney damage
- Hormonal changes affecting mood, appetite, weight management, and behavior
- Physical changes in reproductive organs
- Increased symptoms and severity of mental health disorders such as bipolar disorder, depression, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Increased risk for hypertension, rapid heart rate, and other physical ailments
Aside from jeopardizing your athletic career altogether, the potential risks of performance-enhancing drugs are simply too great to risk. If you or a loved one need help with quitting substances, First Steps Recovery is here to guide your healing process.
What Makes Athletes Use Substances?
Performance-enhancing drugs can vary, though they are most notably called steroids. Athletes may choose to lean on substances during their athletic careers for many reasons, such as:
- Dealing with the stress of maintaining peak performance in sports
- Trouble managing personal life challenges
- Pain management
- Unaddressed physical and mental health concerns
- Peer pressure
Athletes, like any of us, can become convinced that substances offer something substantial. Despite the lax culture around substances in athletic circles, it can be detrimental to lean on substances to manage your life. Most athletes face severe backlash for using steroids, including termination from the sport. There are other more natural ways to enhance your performance without risking your athletic career or your health.
What is Drug Rehabilitation?
Drug rehabilitation makes it possible to detox from a drug or substance in a safe environment. Quitting certain substances cold turkey, especially pharmaceuticals, can have adverse effects. Receiving treatment at a drug rehabilitation facility or detox treatment center makes it easier for you to get the help you need. Detox centers are also more likely to discourage relapse since they often provide deeper treatment to support a person in overcoming substance use long-term.
First Steps Recovery believes in treating the whole person in ways that truly resonate with and help each individual. Drug rehabilitation does not have a one size fits all approach. There is generally more success when treating each client as their unique person, working with them to create a treatment plan that produces realistic and attainable results.
The Importance of Drug Rehabilitation in Athletics
Drug rehabilitation can help an athlete get back on track by putting their best foot forward. If you or a loved one have become addicted to any substances to manage athletic performance, rehabilitation can help you safely wean off of these substances.
If you are using substances to treat unmanaged pain and other physical or mental concerns, rehabilitation can also offer safer alternatives to address the underlying problem. Drug rehabilitation offers direct support with detox from substances. Under the careful supervision of a detox specialist and healthcare team, you can receive treatment for addiction and other health concerns as well.
By getting the well-rounded care you deserve, you will support your health and well-being overall. First Steps Recovery offers expert guidance and genuine compassion for each of our clients as they overcome substance abuse.
Avoiding Substance Abuse in Athletics
Despite the culture and potential for athletes to lean on substances in high-performance settings, it is possible to avoid substance abuse altogether.
Tending to your mental health is a great way to strengthen your defenses against substance abuse. Much like you strengthen and train your body, your mind requires similar attention for you to live a balanced life. Leaning on substances for mental health challenges is only a short-term solution with the potential for many long-term health complications.
You can avoid substance abuse by taking a few steps:
- Set and maintain appropriate boundaries around substance use.
- Have close friendships with people who respect your needs and concerns around sobriety.
- Seek professional support for physical and mental health concerns such as chronic pain or symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- If you have trouble controlling yourself around substances, try to avoid events where substances are present.
- Talk to a therapist or another trusted mentor for help with managing stress and navigating your emotions.
- Make sure that you take care of your body by getting enough sleep and eating balanced meals for overall wellness.
- Practice mindfulness practices like prayer and meditation to encourage stillness and develop greater awareness.
Seek Help for Substance Abuse
Whether you choose to abstain from substances or approach your use more mindfully, adopting healthy lifestyle changes can support better habits. Drug rehabilitation is part of a much greater pathway to a successful recovery. Committing to a more balanced lifestyle will make it much easier to handle the pressure and stress of high-performance sports and life itself. First Steps Recovery can help you achieve that goal.
The wear and tear of an active lifestyle can take a toll on your mind and body. When this happens, many people turn to substances for pain management. This can seem ideal in the short term. However, when using performance-enhancing drugs, there can be many concerning side effects. Developing a substance dependency can make it hard to maintain optimal performance and can ultimately affect your physical and mental health. First Steps Recovery is here to guide you as you take steps toward recovery from substance abuse. We offer unique drug rehabilitation along with holistic methods to support your optimal health. Our team is here to help you. Call us at (844) 489-0836 today.