Jun 2, 2015
Addiction and Athletes

In caring for athletes, athletic trainers handle many issues beyond sprains and strains. On Wednesday, June 24, John Ciecko III, MS, ATC, CSCS, PES, Head Athletic Trainer for Bloomfield Hills (Mich.) High School will present “Science of Addiction, Current Trends, and Our Athletes.” This presentation will cover some of the science related to addiction, whether it is dependence on cigarettes, prescription medications, or alcohol.

“I will cover current trends with drugs and alcohol at the high school and college levels and how different substances affect athletes during athletic performance,” Ciecko says. “I will also touch on mental health recognition, relate the topic to what we know on concussions, and finish by offering ideas to athletic trainers whose athletes may suffer from a drug abuse problem.”

Although high school athletic trainers may benefit the most from this presentation, there will be information for athletic trainers in all situations. “The largest selling point is the mental health recognition and learning how people become addicted to drugs and alcohol in order to truly see addiction as a disease, not just a moral problem,” Ciecko says.

The information will be basic and easy to relate to, but will also include some surprising information on substance abuse and brain function. “The introduction of substances like drugs and alcohol can harm normal brain function and development–similar to how concussions can affect the same brain function and development,” Ciecko says.


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