NFL Players Abusing Adderall
Adderall use among college students in America is at an all-time high. Students who take Adderall – legally or illegally – find it helps them do better on assignments and tests. And college isn’t the only place where use of this performance-enhancing drug has risen dramatically. Adderall use has increased among professional athletes, and most recently the spotlight has been on the NFL. Anybody that has been on it for a long time knows that quitting adderall isn’t easy.
At least 10 NFL players have been suspended for failing drug tests so far in the 2012 season, reportedly from Adderall that they were not permitted to take. Because Adderall was added to the list of banned substances in 2006, players need to apply for a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) and receive permission to take the drug under supervision by a doctor if they are prescribed it.
The NFL has a strict drug-testing policy, so why are so many players risking suspension by using Adderall without a prescription and a TUE? For the same reasons that an estimated 25 percent of college students use the drug at least once per year: Because it helps them do better.
Adderall is a stimulant used to treat attention deficit disorders like ADHD. For people who have a legitimate need for Adderall, the drug calms them down and helps them focus enough to focus on a more average level. For people who do not have ADHD, Adderall speeds them up and increases their concentration and focus to a level that’s much higher than they achieve normally.
Why are NFL Plyers Using Adderall?
Sports, especially football, require a high degree of awareness to what is going on around you, and Adderall helps NFL players with a heightened awareness and increased reaction time. It helps calm them enough to be less affected by the pressure they feel and more able to focus on the movements of the players around them and make quick, more efficient decisions on what they need to do.
Adderall also helps boost players’ energy levels, giving them more stamina and power while playing or practicing. The stimulant helps reduce pain so that they can push through minor injuries and discomforts and be unaffected by them while on the field.
With effects like these, it’s not surprising why Adderall use is appealing to athletes. There’s no telling how many NFL players actually use Adderall from time-to-time or on a regular basis.
Adderall, the new Steroid?
In fact, many people think that Adderall is popular because there is less of a social stigma as compared to steroids. Use of performance-enhancing drugs is nothing new in professional sports, and the trend may just be shifting to a new substance that’s so far not as condemned as steroids now are. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that only players themselves can announce the reason for their failed drug tests, and some suspect that sometimes all the blame may be put on Adderall to avoid public discussions of steroid use.
Whatever the case, Adderall use in the NFL and other professional sports is rising, and officials will need to begin cracking down harder on it if they want to keep the playing field as level as possible, so to speak, and take away the advantages players experience when using Adderall.