Expert Outlines Dangers of Opioid Use Among Student Athletes

(St. John's University) The danger of opioid dependency among athletes was explored with St. John’s University students on October 24 by a leading voice on addiction and substance-abuse rehabilitation.

Marcus Amos, Ph.D., a certified alcohol and drug abuse counselor, player development specialist, and Assistant Professor of Sport Management at Voorhees University in Denmark, SC, addressed a gathering of students from The Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies, discussing, among other things, a wave of opioid-related deaths among young athletes.

Dr. Amos documented the deaths of six college athletes from drug- and depression-related suicides in 2022–23—but those, he said, were only the high-profile examples. Many others are underreported.          

“We have receptors in our brains that detect everything,” Dr. Amos explained. “Opioids are very effective at destroying the particular receptors that fight off cravings for other drugs, so you start having cravings for substances you’ve never even thought about using before—and you become addicted.”

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