Oftentimes when a young athlete gets suspended for a drug test, people will say things like: “How stupid?” or “They couldn’t have waited until after their career was done?”. Sometimes it is just a simple mistake. Other times however, it tends to be more serious. Once athletes get to their second or third drug suspensions, you have to think that they have a problem. If they have an addiction, the answer to the previous question: “They couldn’t have waited until after their career is done?” would be no. That’s the worst part about addiction, it doesn’t take any time off.
Addiction is a mental disorder that makes the person that has it believe that they physically need something. While most commonly associated with illegal drugs, anyone can become addicted to anything. Whether it be something perceived as harmful such as alcohol and smoking, or something perceived as natural such as exercise or sex. No matter how “normal” or unhealthy the activity of the addict looks, all addiction are harmful and will hurt, and if untreated can even kill that person.
Addiction is unbiased. Anyone can be claimed by addiction no matter how average or famous they may be. The biggest stars that have reached and touched the lives of billions have been claimed by addiction, it is unbiased. WWE wrestler Ashley Massaro is just the latest example of the ultimate price people can pay for addiction. Massaro recently passed away from a drug overdose, because she had a drug problem. She had a dependence for drugs and she started feeling like she needed more and more, until her body couldn’t take the amounts of toxins she was putting into her body and it failed. This tragedy is not uncommon, it is actually much, much more common as it should be. No matter if this person is a famous millionaire, or an average person going to their average job, it could happen to anyone.
Professional athletes getting suspended for drugs is no different than an average person getting suspended for drugs from their own employer. Fail enough drug tests and you lose your job. The problem with that is: even when they lose their job, their problem doesn’t go away. That’s the problem with these professional sports leagues, talent agencies, or general employers: they don’t help addicts solve their problem. Not just employers, but also schools. Employers and schools don’t do enough to help those in need.
Addicts need help, but they won’t go get help by themselves; they need a nudge. A nudge that not enough employers or teams make. This is a call, not only for professional leagues to offer help for their employees, but also for employers in “everyday” fields and for schools to extend more help for these addicts. Addiction doesn’t care what your race, gender, sex, or religion is. It will claim whomever it wants to, but it is claiming way too many. This is a call for anyone who knows of any addict to help them get help, or help them realize that they need to get help. Addiction affects many people, not only just addicts. It is a mental disorder, and it needs addressed, that not a lot of employers and leagues address. We need a universal solution that no one seems to want.