Navigation Links
Retired NFL Players More Likely to Take Painkillers

FRIDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Retired professional football players use opioid painkiller drugs four times more than people in the general U.S. population, a new study shows.

Researchers asked 644 former NFL players who retired between 1979 and 2006 about their overall health, level of pain, history of injuries and concussions, and use of prescription pain drugs.

Seven percent of the retired players said they were currently taking opioid painkillers, which include morphine, Vicodin, codeine and oxycodone, said the researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

"We asked about medications they used during their playing careers and whether they used the drugs as prescribed or whether they had ever taken them in a different way or for different reasons," principal investigator Linda B. Cottler, a professor of epidemiology in psychiatry, said in a university news release. "More than half used opioids during their NFL careers, and 71 percent had misused the drugs. That is, they had used the medication for a different reason or in a different way than it was prescribed, or taken painkillers that were prescribed for someone else."

She and her colleagues found that players who misused the drugs during their careers were more likely to misuse them after they retired. Misuse was reported by 15 percent of retired players who misused the drugs while playing, compared with about 5 percent of retired players who only took the drugs as prescribed during their playing days.

Pain and undiagnosed concussions were major predictors of current opioid painkiller misuse among retired NFL players.

"The rate of current, severe pain is staggering," Cottler said. "Among the men who currently used prescription opioids -- whether misused or not -- 75 percent said they had severe pain, and about 70 percent reported moderate-to-severe physical impairment."

About 49 percent of the players in the study were diagnosed with a concussion at some point in their playing careers, and 81 percent said they believe they suffered undiagnosed concussions. Those with suspected-but-undiagnosed concussions borrowed painkiller pills from teammates, friends or relatives to keep playing, according to the study.

The researchers also found that retired players who misuse opioid drugs are more likely to be heavy drinkers.

"So these men are at elevated risk for potential overdose," Cottler said. "They reported more than 14 drinks a week, and many were consuming at least 20 drinks per week, or the equivalent of about a fifth of liquor."

The study appears online in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

More information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration offers a guide to safe use of pain medicines.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, news release, Jan. 28, 2011

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Retired NFL players misuse painkillers more than general population
2. Retired Military Brass Support First Ladys Call to Reduce Child Obesity, Improve Nutrition
3. Headgear, mouth guards have little or no impact on reducing concussions in rugby players
4. Concussion Rate in Young Hockey Players Higher Than Thought
5. Artificial Turf Helps Football Players With Agility Drills
6. NFL Players With Concussions Sidelined Longer: Study
7. MP3 Players Might Harm Hearing
8. Getting extra sleep improves the athletic performance of collegiate football players
9. Poker Players May Use Drugs to Stay Sharp at the Table
10. Study finds poker players using drugs to enhance performance
11. Human Touch Brand Ambassador and PGA Pro Tim Clark Wins First PGA TOUR Victory at PLAYERS Championship
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Retired NFL Players More Likely to Take Painkillers
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts from the American ... Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. ... including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. , AIR ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of independent ... Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to announce ... Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. , ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether it’s ... setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, those ... goal. , Research from reveals that behind the tendency to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was ... his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” ... He would throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San ... Society and the Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from ... adults to ensure the highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Collagen Matrix, ... design, development and manufacturing of collagen and mineral ... announced today that Bill Messer has ... Marketing to further leverage the growing portfolio of ... devices. Bill joins the Collagen Matrix ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Va. , June 24, 2016 The ... set of recommendations that would allow biopharmaceutical ... (HCEI) with entities that make formulary and coverage decisions, ... the "value" of new medicines. The recommendations ... does not appear on the drug label, a prohibition ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016   Pulmatrix, Inc ., (NASDAQ: ... inhaled drugs, announced today that it was added to ... its comprehensive set of U.S. and global equity ... an important milestone for Pulmatrix," said Chief Executive Officer ... of our progress in developing drugs for crucial unmet ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: