U.S. News & World Report: From Injury to Opioid: the Unintended Side Effect of Youth Sports Participation

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JUST A DECADE AGO, IT seemed that the "biggest deal" in youth sports drug-abuse news was high school athletes' use of performance-enhancing drugs, or PEDs for short. Article after article described the win-at-all-costs pressure experienced by young athletes who took PEDs because they thought they needed a leg-up on their competition. While that particular pressure hasn't dissipated and has arguably ramped up in recent years, the level at which young athletes compete today and the amount of time they spend practicing and playing any given sport has sky-rocketed. Between too-early specialization in youth sports and playing a singular sport year-round, the injury rate among young athletes has significantly increased in step with the participation rate. The injuries sustained cause pain, and some require surgical repair.

Enter opioids into an already scary picture.

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