Recreational Athlete Pain Pill Addiction

Recreational Athlete Pain Pill Addiction

Part of being an athlete at any level is dealing with the inevitability of body aches and pains. While the professional athletes suffer well-documented issues with chronic pain, many recreational athletes also struggle with debilitating body pain. In an effort to maintain their active lifestyles, a large portion of amateur and recreational athletes rely on painkillers to treat their acute and chronic pain, similar to their professional counterparts.1 Recreational athlete pain pill addiction may not receive as much press as the standard drug abuse in athletes, but it is nonetheless a widespread issue necessitating specialized care by addiction treatment centers. Athletes who rely on pain killers can ultimately develop a dependence that can be hard to break free from.

How Recreational Athlete Pain Pill Addiction Starts

If this behavior continues over the course of time, the potential for dependency and addiction are greatly increased. The potential ramifications of a painkiller addiction can include a reduction in quality of life, an increase in opioid immunity (leading to more pain pill abuse), an inability to get from day to day without painkillers and a reduction in pain tolerance (due to the consequential development of hyperalgesia).

Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches recognizes your desire to remain active in sports and athletics while trying to live pain-free. The problem with painkillers, aside from the addictive nature, is that they do not treat pain. They merely mask it. When it comes to chronic pain, this creates a potentially deadly cycle, as there are more overdoses from prescription drugs than any illicit drug in the nation.2

Substance Abuse and Athletics Don’t Mix

While many professional athletes resort to substance abuse as a response to pain or intense pressure to perform, there are numerous reasons why a recreational athlete might use drugs. As with any other drug addict, there are often preexisting mental health conditions which have potentially contributed to or led to habitual substance abuse.

The recreational athlete pain pill addiction program at Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches seeks to uncover the reasons, triggers, and characteristics of our patients’ addictions in order to provide a higher level of care. Our ultimate goal is to free our patients from the grip of drug addiction through education, group and individual counseling, stimulating activities, and a host of innovative mental therapies.

Additionally, our drug rehab in Palm Beach offers patients the chance to remain active in athletics, as we have a full gym, a basketball court, a pool, and a wealth of open space for sports.

Standard Addiction Treatment Includes:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Family Counseling
  • Coping Skills Training
  • Breathing and Mindfulness Training
  • Biofeedback
  • Light Sound Neurotherapy
  • Schema Therapy
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Our Drug-Free Pain Management Techniques Include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Exercise
  • Nutritional Counseling
  • Physical Therapy
  • Meditation
  • Flexibility Training
  • Yoga
  • Tai Chi
  • Massage Therapy
  • Heat & Ice

Individualized Aftercare Services

After completing our painkiller addiction program, athletes will be offered further treatment recommendations based on their individual care needs. We want to ensure long-term success following rehab and will refer you to any of a number of aftercare services to make sure you remain on the right path.

Your athletics don’t have to come at the cost of your mental and physical health. Contact us today to learn more about how you can overcome your painkiller addiction while maintaining an active lifestyle.


  1. Science Daily – Surprising Link Between Athletics and Addiction
  2. CDC – Drug Overdose Deaths