Substance abuse in sports

We’ve all seen it. Your favorite player gets caught drinking or doing drugs or even taking steroids and is suspended. We’ve all sat there and said to our selves “how dumb can you really be”. But really do we have any idea what’s going on in their mind. So many great talents have had these issues that have ruined their careers. The one that comes to most people’s mind is Josh Gordon. The once all pro wide receiver just can’t seem to get it right. But what does he really go through. The substance of abuse program is one that no one ever really talks about so what’s it really like?

For a normal player the street drug tests happen between April 20th and the first week of training camp. Pass? And your good? Fail and you fall into the substance of abuse program.

Let’s go over just what this means for the athlete and what he will be going through. In stage 1 you clean your body which takes about 1-3 months. During these months you are tested 8 times a month. And every time you leave the state you are playing in you must give the NFL a address to and 2 phone numbers to contact you. After that in stage 2 you meet with physiologists and take tests for addiction for alcohol or drugs as well as what you go through in stage 1 but this is 24 months long.

Being drug tested 8 times a month and having to let someone know where you are can seem like a rough life. That is why this is so hard.

But what goes through someone’s mind like Josh Gordon to want to decide to keep trying to smoke and get away with it. Well you think about how much he is working out and drinking he may think he could smoke and have it out of his system in a few days. But for the young receiver that has not been the case for his entire career. Recently however he also failed for performance enhancing drugs.

Now when you see an athlete fail for PEDS you think how stupid and that he knew he was gonna get caught etc. But for some athletes they feel it is the last way for them to stay around in the league. They make it as a decision that “Hey maybe ill do this once, have a good year, get paid and get off of it”. This is not how it usually goes. They do it to have a good year and make money for their families right now. If all they have to deal with is some people on Twitter calling them morons and a suspension. Do you think they care? No because most of the time you don’t hear about it because they’re are lots of people using PEDS who don’t get caught. They’ve used them to make millions of dollars.

Theres also one more thing you must think about if you are taking PEDS and that’s about the effect it could have on other players in the league. Say you’re taking steroids in baseball and go 4 for 4. That pitcher you just shelled may get sent down and and never see the big leagues and a legitimate pay day again. You have to be able to live with taking food off someone else’s plate.

I am not advocating for doing street drugs or PEDS or trying to clear Josh Gordon’s name. I’m simply saying not to rush to judgement when you see your favorite athlete get a suspension because you have never been in there shoes and never know what their reasons or thought process is.