Here is yet another installment in the ongoing stories of PED, performance-enhancing drugs, use in professional sports. The parallels between PED, use and drug addiction may be a stretch at times, yet the irrationality and unmanageability accompanying PED abuse bridges the gap. It is often assumed that PED use is solely the product of someone’s desire to excel exponentially at a sport in order to reap the commensurate awards and accolades. While this may be true, it may also only be partly true. Sometimes the motivations and actions spiral outside of the conventional “cheating to gain the upper hand” reason. This is most recently exemplified by the curious case of Melky Cabrera.
Drug Use In Professional Sports
Melky Cabrera is an All-Star Major League Baseball player for the San Francisco Giants. This year, in the 2012 season, Cabrera was playing incredibly well, and thru August 14th, he was among the league leaders in an array of statistics. Then the news broke that he had tested positive for illegal testosterone (PED) use. Cabrera has been suspended 50 games, a stern penalty but arguably a necessary one considering how widespread PED use has been. You would think the story would be over and the sports world would go back to sitting on their hands waiting for the next PED story to hit the press. (It was not a long wait; in fact another player, Bartolo Colon, got a 50-game ban the week after Cabrera!)
It turns out the truth is stranger than fiction. It has been revealed that Cabrera, in the wake of his suspension, “mounted a campaign to avoid [the suspension] that included a fake website featuring a fictitious product” that would presumably exonerate Cabrera with an explanation of the failed drug test. Wow, this has manipulation and unmanageability written all over it. Though it is unknown if Cabrera abuses any other kinds of drugs or alcohol, his actions make clear that his behavior may mimic that of an addict or alcoholic trying to hide their use. The fact that he would go to extreme lengths to remove personal responsibility or culpability resonates deeply with those who struggle with various substance abuses. This situation brings to mind similar facets of the high functioning alcoholic/addict.
Athletes and struggles with drug abuse, whether narcotics or PED’s, proliferate the sports world. To recover, a solution such as a trip to a doctor’s and a medicine prescribed is simply not the right solution. Serious mental health therapy in conjunction with an addiction treatment program would possibly provide enormous benefits that could change a life and last a lifetime. Unfortunately, PED and other drug uses probably will not cease, but awareness behind the motives can increase. Hopefully then, the attention would focus on helping those in need instead of simply incriminating, convicting and punishing.Tags: Addiction Treatment, Athletic Drug Abuse, drug abuse, PED use, Prescription drug, prescription drug addiction, Sports Drugs, substance abuse, unmanageable