Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches’ own Dr. Louis Baxter was recently invited by Fox News to weigh in on the specialized substance abuse battles that athletes face during and after their careers. Dr. Baxter is the director of the American Board of Addiction Medicine, president and CEO of the Professional Assistance Program of New Jersey and the consulting medical director of the athlete’s program at BHOPB. He is also a substance abuse consultant for both the NFL and NBA.
The article tapped into his expert opinion and extensive knowledge to gain insight into the unique obstacles facing well-known professional athletes like Johnny Manziel and Michael Phelps. While it’s clear that addiction doesn’t discriminate, Baxter says getting a professional athlete to accept or seek treatment is very difficult and often takes a disastrous event.
“What will get them into treatment is something that happens like they get arrested, or they get fired from the team, have some marital problems,” he said in his interview with FoxNews.com. The major obstacle is the athlete’s competitive mindset. First of all, they don’t want to acknowledge that they have a problem, they don’t want to lose fame or a starting position, they may in fact hide injuries and hide difficulties they are having with substances.”
Both Manziel and Phelps are the most well-known athletes to have recently received treatment for their struggles with substance abuse and addiction. Manziel, a second-year quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, had become infamous for his hard-partying ways during his legendary college career at Texas A&M. Phelps, the most decorated Olympic athlete in history with 18 gold medals, has had multiple drunken-driving arrests, was photographed smoking marijuana and had been suspended twice by USA Swimming.
When asked what type of addiction treatment is best for high profile professional athletes, Dr. Baxter recommended in-patient residential treatment. “In my experience, I think that especially professional athletes do better in a residential setting because they’re taken from their star environment and placed in a more therapeutic environment.”
About Dr. Baxter
Dr. Baxter has over 30 years’ experience in the addiction care field and is a well-respected authority in the industry. He is an active member of the National Advisory Council to the National Institute on Drug Abuse and has served on the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. He has worked with the NFL since 2002 and the NBA since 2007 and is a recognized expert in addiction treatment.
About Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches
Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches is a leading South Florida behavioral healthcare organization offering expert, compassionate, cutting-edge treatment to individuals suffering from drug alcohol addiction and mental disorder. Our full continuum of care includes professional intervention, onsite medical detox, innovative and specialized rehab, and aftercare.
Since our inception in 1997, we have become an industry leader in addiction care, featuring our own research department, which utilizes evidence-based research and best practices, as well as some of the nation’s most accomplished doctors and mental health professionals. Our expertise in co-occurring disorders and the holistic philosophy of treating the whole patient has allowed us to produce some of the highest success rates in the country.