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Pain Killer Overuse and Addiction

In May 2014, a group of eight retired National Football League (NFL) players filed a lawsuit against the NFL. The complaint was filed in San Francisco in the U. S. District Courts and was shared with the Associated Press previous to a filing. Lawyers are seeking class-action status and have already had more than 500 other retired players come forward to sign said lawsuit.

Players state that they were illegally given medications without prescriptions and without warning of potential side effects to mask injuries they were unaware of so they would continue to participate in games. This ultimately led to several players becoming addicted to painkillers when they retired from the NFL.

“I was provided uppers, downers, painkillers, you name it while in the NFL,” plaintiff J.D. Hill, who played for seven years in the 1970s, said in a statement. “I became addicted and turned to the streets after my career and was homeless. Never took a drug in my life, and I became a junkie in the NFL.”

The breakdown of the three NFL drug categories:

  • Opioids: Narcotic drugs that act to block and dull pain. Highly addictive. So addictive, in fact, that they are generally prescribed on a short-term basis.
  • NSAIDs: Short for Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medications. Ease both inflammation and pain. All have blood-thinning properties and can cause serious harm when used improperly.
  • Local Anesthetics: Injectable painkillers that numb a particular area of the body. Generally used for minor surgery.

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Read a story about this lawsuit from ESPN by clicking here.

Read a story form Sports Illustrated about this lawsuit by clicking here.

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