According to a new study in a scientific journal, retired NFL players misuse opioid pain medication at a rate that is four times greater than the general public. The study goes on to connect the abuse to the number of pain killers athletes take during their playing days in the NFL. The results were published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, a peer-reviewed academic journal.
The study was conducted by scholars at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. It is also the first study conducted on pain killer misuse by former players. Linda Cottler, a professor of Epidemiology in the school's Department of Psychiatry led the study and it was also commissioned by ESPN.