CENTRAL INDIANA – In 2019, the ongoing “opioid crisis” continues to be one of the most tragic and rampant problems in our state. Overdose deaths related to opioids such as certain prescription pain medications and their street-counterpart, heroin, are at epidemic levels in the state of Indiana. (80% of new heroin users start out by misusing prescription pain medications.) According to the Indiana State Department of Health, Indiana’s rate of overdose deaths related to any opioid in 2018 is provisionally 14.3 per 100,000 people .
In many cases, a person is first introduced to prescription opioids during their youth to relieve pain due to an athletic injury. The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine estimates that more than 3.5 million students 14 and younger get hurt annually playing sports in the U.S. Overuse injuries, which are damage to bones, muscles, ligaments, or tendons caused by repetitive stress without allowing time to heal, account for nearly half of all sports injuries in middle and high schools.
Taking these statistics into account, it is clear that high school and middle school student athletes are at a higher risk of first misuse of a prescription opioid than their peers. In order to prevent first misuse, the Hendricks County Substance Abuse Task Force in collaboration with the Hendricks County Health Partnership produced and released two new educational videos.
The first video is intended for current student athletes and includes stories from current and former student athletes who have been affected by addiction, as well as relevant information from local Hendricks County experts in the fields of sports medicine and substance abuse rehabilitation. The second video is intended for athletic trainers, coaches, and parents who each play an important role in student athletes’ lives. It also features testimonies and vitally important recommendations that can help these trusted adults prevent first misuse for the student athletes they work with.
You can view and share these videos at: https://www.hendrickshealthpartnership.org/student-athlete-addiction-prevention.html. Any questions can be directed to 317-745-9618.