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Cannabinoids vs. Opiods in Sports and Who I'm Rooting For

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I watch a lot of football and where as I’m the first to yell out when there’s a great defensive play that brings an opponent down, as I’m getting older, I realize how tough sports are and the toll it can take on your body, but especially football. Football players are beat up on a daily basis leaving them to deal with injury and pain that doesn’t go away after they retire. As athletes we are strong and taught to be tough, shake it off. We play through our aches and pains, we try to downplay our painful injuries, we just want to get back in the game. This takes a toll.

Usually when we hear about drug abuse in sports it’s about steroids, but did you know that NFL players are given opiates regularly to maintain pain management? Did you also realize that about 70% of the football players who are given opiates to relieve pain are misusing them? This is a staggering statistic. We sit back on Sunday and watch the game and don’t realize what’s actually going on behind the scenes. My guilty pleasure is an HBO show called “Ballers.” In it Duane Johnson (The Rock) plays an ex-footballer who is addicted to painkillers. Although it’s just a show, it gives a real look into the pain suffered and the relief that these players are seeking just to get through their day.

Enter Eugene Monroe. Eugene Monroe was a Baltimore Raven, (retired this summer), he is an advocate for Medical Marijuana use for pain management.  I applaud Eugene’s quest to stop this madness and plead with the league to fund studies to help his fellow footballers. He’s quoted as saying, “This is a cause I am incredibly passionate about. Replacing opioids with cannabinoids could greatly improve and even save the lives of football players.” This was not an easy thing for Eugene to do. He put himself on the line speaking out over a still, very controversial issue. Honestly, I could not have said it better myself.

Eugene Monroe is doing something positive for football, as well as, for legalization and use of Medical Marijuana. He’s asking for the league to tap into those billions made in the industry and fund studies to help their own players. If you’ve read any of my blogs you would know that I could not agree more. We NEED more studies. We should study the effects of Medical Marijuana on pain management, on PTSD, on seizures, on every ailment that is seeking relief where pharmaceuticals have failed us. If we can improve our lives and pain management with something that is effective and non-addictive then we should. Let’s support people like Eugene who had the guts to take a stand, stop debating and be proactive. Go and check out Eugene Monroe’s website. It’s informative and sites leading research organizations that should be supported.

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