Can Cannabis Help with Inflammation for Athletes?
Athletes today are bigger, stronger, and faster than they were just a decade or so ago. Men and women are becoming more competitive thanks in part to technological advancements designed to improve workouts and recovery time, as well as a better understanding of athlete physiology and the advent of new training exercises designed to maximize an athlete’s potential.
With these innovations, however, come drawbacks. Playing a contact sport like football has become more dangerous as athletes pile on the muscles, speed, and agility. The rise of brain injuries like CTE, as well as knee, shoulder, or back strains, have resulted in increased usage of painkillers that have become alarmingly dangerous and addictive.
The United States is currently in the middle of a national opioid addiction and overdose epidemic. In 2015, there were 20,101 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers. The same year, heroin contributed to 12,990 overdose deaths. In 2015, opioid overdose deaths surpassed gun homicides in the United States.
This epidemic is only growing stronger, in part because companies like Insys, who makes the widely used and abused pain killer Fentanyl, are getting involved in local politics. They’re donating to politicians and other initiatives that could possibly contribute to the rise of painkiller use/abuse. These companies only seem to care about one thing, and it’s not the health and well-being of Americans, it’s money.
Unfortunately, the cavalier attitude towards prescription painkillers has trickled into sports. Doctors in professional sports are handing out painkillers like Fentanyl to the players like candy. As a result, a growing number of former athletes, mainly in the NFL, suffer from opioid addiction problems, creating the need for the NFL and other professional leagues to find alternatives to how to treat these persistent pain problems athletes face.