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For NFL Retirees, Opioids Bring More Pain
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=6518"><span class="small">Ken Belson, The New York Times</span></a>   
Saturday, 02 February 2019 13:24

Belson writes: "Earl Campbell, a former All-Pro running back in the N.F.L., said the first painkillers he took came in a small brown packet that a trainer gave him on the team plane."

Randy Grimes sought help when all the trappings of his N.F.L. life were gone, and now works at a rehabilitation center in Delray Beach, Florida. (photo: Scott McIntyre/NYT)
Randy Grimes sought help when all the trappings of his N.F.L. life were gone, and now works at a rehabilitation center in Delray Beach, Florida. (photo: Scott McIntyre/NYT)


For NFL Retirees, Opioids Bring More Pain

By Ken Belson, The New York Times

02 February 19


A brutal game got them hooked on painkillers. In retirement, they battle addiction. The opioid crisis courses through football.

arl Campbell, a former All-Pro running back in the N.F.L., said the first painkillers he took came in a small brown packet that a trainer gave him on the team plane. The former lineman Aaron Gibson received his first painkillers in his rookie year after undergoing shoulder surgery. Randy Grimes, a former center, started taking Vicodin and Halcion, a sleeping pill, in his second season to get through full-contact practices.

Like hundreds of former N.F.L. players, Campbell, Gibson and Grimes said they never took painkillers in college, or at any time before they entered the league. Yet as professionals, they regularly used the pills to continue playing, and even in retirement, their pill-popping habits persisted, sending them on haunting, shattering journeys into opioid addiction. It has taken years of struggle, money and anguish in order to heal.

Putting up with pain — a lot of it — has for decades been central to the bargain of playing for glory and money in the N.F.L., the biggest stage in American sports. To do that, countless players have long ingested far more pills than they should. In recent years though, N.F.L. players, especially linemen, have gotten significantly larger and pain medication has become far more potent and addictive, with devastating consequences.

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0 # DongiC 2019-02-03 19:17
Bigger + faster + more mobile players = more momentum = more injuries = more pain = more drug use =. bigger drug problem = more
suffering. Quite a wheel our society is on!