Rehab for Athletes

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Drug Rehab for Athletes

College and professional athletics are fantastic ways to compete, master teamwork and leadership, and stay in shape – but an athlete’s life isn’t always gold. 

It can be challenging to deal with the physical and emotional pressures competitive athletes experience.

Although some athletes may begin taking opioid painkillers with a prescription, many others use them non-medically—either using more than their prescribed instructions or without a prescription at all. Even those with prescribed instructions can develop tolerance or physiological dependence. 

If you or a loved one is an athlete struggling with substance use, Discovery Point Retreat can help. Contact us today at 855-306-8054 to have a confidential conversation about your situation and treatment options.

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Hall of Fame Health Elite Care Center

Discovery Point Retreat is proud to be an Elite Care Center with Hall of Fame Health, an affiliate of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. We offer specialized substance abuse treatment for current and former athletes, their families, and those who support them.

Drug Rehab for Athletes

Athletes and Substance Abuse

Athletes facing intense pressure to perform at the highest level may also face mental health challenges. One in three first-year college athletes suffers from mental health or stress issues. The brain areas affected by depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder are particularly vulnerable to substance abuse, and people with mental illness may turn to substances to cope.

Various factors can lead athletes to struggle with mental health and substance abuse, one of which is being pressured to succeed at all costs by coaches, teammates, and families. 

We must view athletes’ substance abuse and mental health problems as a symptom of a broader problem in our society. As a nation, we need to educate ourselves better about these issues and ensure that our athletes receive appropriate assessments and support from our teams and educational institutions.

The following are a few reasons why athletes may misuse prescription or illicit drugs:

Types of Drugs Athletes May Use

Performance-Enhancing Drugs


Stimulants can be prescription or illicit, boosting the body’s functions. For example, prescription stimulants are often prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is common for people to take stimulants to improve their performance, stay alert, feel exhilarated, or stay awake for extended periods.

Rehab Programs for Athletes

Discovery Point Retreat offers several types of recovery programs for athletes who struggle with addiction:

Signs and Symptoms of Athlete Drug Use

The signs of substance abuse aren’t always readily apparent as athletes may consume these substances alone to avoid attracting attention. Here are a few indications that an athlete may be using drugs.

Performance Enhancing Drugs

  • Severe acne
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fluid retention
  • Diabetes
  • Vision problems
  • Dehydration
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dizziness
  • Potassium deficiency
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Instability and loss of balance
  • Liver abnormalities and tumors
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Heart and blood circulation problems
  • Violence, rage, or aggressive behavior
  • Psychiatric disorders, such as depression
  • Drug dependence
  • Drug injectors are at risk for infections and diseases such as HIV and hepatitis
  • Risk of future health problems due to inhibited growth and development
Athletes Substance Abuse Vertical


Stimulant-type Substances

  • Shakiness
  • Rapid speech or movements, difficulty sitting still
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Lack of appetite
  • Irritability
  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Heatstroke
  • Cardiac arrest


  • Red eyes
  • Lethargy
  • Apathy
Athlete Drug Use

What Can You Do?

Athletes with substance abuse problems should be approached differently than those with depression or anxiety symptoms. In general, athletes experiencing depression or anxiety are more likely to seek assistance, and those experiencing substance-related difficulties tend to be less likely to seek help.

As a result of these factors, approaching an athlete with a substance use problem can be challenging, as they may deny their pain and resist your efforts to help them. Rather than arguing with them or trying to convince them, let them know that you are concerned and that a professional with expertise in this area is the only way to determine if there is a problem. 

Get Help for Addiction Today

Don’t let addiction or drug abuse stand in the way of success. Sports demand physical and emotional strength, and using drugs or alcohol to boost performance or recover from an injury may seem like a solution, but the rewards are temporary.

The good news is that there is hope for anyone who is struggling with addiction, whether it’s because of a drive to succeed or because of the stress of competition. Drugs and alcohol do not have to control your life and your health.

Take the first step toward recovery at Discovery Point Retreat. With a full continuum of care including medical detoxification, and inpatient and outpatient programs, Discovery Point Retreat can offer the right level of care at the right time for athletes struggling with substance abuse and co-occurring mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and trauma. Contact us at 855-306-8054 today and get the professional treatment that will help you get back into the game where you belong. 


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Help for drug and alcohol addiction