Student-Athletes Transitioning from Painkillers to Heroin

Most parents of student-athletes are focused on their teen’s performance and enjoyment of their sport. Most worries center around the number of touchdowns scored and college scholarships offered. However, when parents and student-athletes get hyper-focused on performance, stress and injuries can contribute to a dangerous habit that destroys changes of major league success: addiction.

Sports Illustrated profiled one student athlete’s drug abuse that began with prescription painkillers and spiraled into heroin addiction. Here are important details that Kansas City parents should know:

From Prescription Drugs to Heroin: the Dangerous Addictions Facing Student-Athletes

SI‘s article shared the story of Roman Montano, a student-athlete from New Mexico, who was an avid baseball player with a promising future in the sport.

What began as a successful high school career began unraveling his junior year when he experienced a foot injury. He had a minor surgery and was prescribed OxyContin for the pain. He continued his season and excelled, earning 20 Division I scholarship offers.

Immediately before his senior year, Roman was caught using a stolen credit card to purchase items at a local mall. It was his first offense, but the school kicked him off the team and his college prospects disappeared.

Roman turned to OxyContin to numb his anger and depression. Although his prescription was no longer available, he was able to easily obtain the drug at “pill parties,” where medications are passed around as openly as alcohol and marijuana.

His Oxy addiction grew just as his future faded. When his parents uncovered his opioid addiction, they sent him to rehab, where he was prescribed Suboxone. This treatment proved ineffective and he moved on from OxyContin to a cheaper alternative: heroin. He overdosed at age 22.

Heroin Abuse Among Teens

Roman is not the only situation where prescription drug use has led to heroin abuse. Research shows that 1 in 15 people who take non-medical prescription pain pills try heroin within 10 years. In 2010, 1.9 million individuals abused prescription painkillers, and 14% of them also used heroin. This number has grown since 2004 when 1.4 million people abused pain meds and 5% of them used heroin.

Parents can’t ignore the fact that prescription medications are a threat to their teens, whether given to student-athletes for real injuries, stolen from medicine cabinets, or passed around at parties. These drugs can and do lead to heroin addiction, which can be fatal.

Don’t Let Your Teen Become a Statistic

Test Smartly Labs provides teen and student-athlete drug testing. Whether you are a parent concerned about your teen’s drug abuse or a sports organization wanting to curb the use of drugs among student-athletes, we can provide the help you need.

IF YOU ARE WORRIED THAT YOUR TEEN IS EXPERIMENTING WITH DRUGS, WE PROVIDE ACCURATE AND CONFIDENTIAL DRUG TESTING. CALL (816) 800-9699 OR CONTACT TEST SMARTLY LABSTODAY. YOU CAN MAKE AN APPOINTMENT AT ANY OF OUR 5 KANSAS CITY AREA LOCATIONS.

 

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