When one looks at athletes and performers the draw to addictions can come from several factors. I know that you, like us, want to excel without becoming addicted to anything that stops us from being our very best. Some of these addiction factors include:
- The Pressure athletes and performers often have can lead to being burnt-out. The Pressure athletes and performers often have can lead to being burnt-out, this is caused by the ongoing stress to perform at peak levels, which normally cannot be maintained, this leads to using substances to “get up’ or “wind down” which can lead to a cycle of dependence.
- Athletes and Performers many times feel an intense rush from competition or performing that can be addicting the feeling of competing or performing has been described as a euphoric high. The higher the competition the more excellence becomes the norm and when those super high standards are not meet the harder it becomes to get that natural rush. Add to this the pressure it can become a toxic mix.
- Athletes and Performers many times turn to stimulants to boost performance or get “up” for an event, when the natural rush is harder to find, the internal motivation may decrease which can lead one to look for external boosts. When one is in long competition, or training to compete or perform it is easy to look for outside chemical interventions.
- Athletes and Performers may become dependent on pain killers after an injury when they must continue to work. With many fields of sports and performing so competitive, one feels they cannot take time off to heal from an injury, so they take painkillers to work through the pain. Add to this the feelings that one must be able to “walk it off” is intense. In many areas, as we know your replacement is waiting for the chance to take your sport on the team, or place in the performance.
- Athletes and Performers are under intense external and internal pressure. Top performers all have strong internal drives that match the high external expectations. This can help propel them to the top, but it can become a negative feedback loop. When one feels they have no way to escape the pressure one may use drugs, alcohol, or other addictions to escape.
- Alcohol and other drugs can become a crutch to unwind and relax. After an intense event one needs to relax, but what if there is another event tomorrow, or the training for the next event starts tomorrow? When combined with the above, is it any wonder why some turn to a quick way to wind down? With many sports testing for drugs many turn to that accepted old standby alcohol…with addiction to follow and all its issues.
Our Creative Protocol Director was a competitor in martial arts winning Gold and Silver medals in the State and AAU levels. He boxed in the Army, and played a year of semi-pro football. He has also been a performer in theater and film industry for years so he can understand the issues athletes and performers face. Let us help you be your old natural high performing self.