Former soccer player Wambach opens up about her struggle with drug and alcohol addiction

An athlete’s life can witness drug and alcohol abuse for various reasons – to enhance performance, to treat any underlying mental illness, to overcome physical pain or the stress of the game.

One such example is of  two-time Olympic gold medalist and former U.S. team soccer player Amy Wambach (36), who recently admitted to abusing prescription drugs and alcohol for years, including her time as a national team player.

In her latest memoir, “Forward: A Memoir,” Wambach has confessed to a year-long problem with drug and alcohol addiction. She also confessed that substance abuse was one of the contributing factors to her divorce with Sarah Huffman, a fellow soccer player.

As per Wambach, her addiction got worse after her retirement from soccer in October 2015. After being arrested on a charge of driving under influence (DUI) in April 2016, Wambach decided to get sober and to reach out to others by writing about her substance abuse problem.

In an interview with Associated Press (AP), Wambach admitted that the arrest was one of the best things that happened to her as it led to severe public humiliation and acted as a wake-up call for her to accept her addiction and get the treatment. She admitted to being in denial and not being ready to face the truth that she was addicted to vodka and prescription drugs. Wambach also told the AP that since her arrest she has been sober and is on the path to recovery.

Drug abuse and alcohol addiction in athletes

In recent times, many athletes have openly discussed their struggles with addiction to various substances. Research also shows that drug abuse is no longer limited to illicit drugs, it has extended to prescription drugs. Overdose of addictive drugs, such as Vicodin and OxyContin, often prescribed to athletes for pain management, kill many people every year. These drugs take away the pain from an injury and cause a feeling of euphoria that helps athletes escape the stress of performance.

For both athletes and non-athletes, alcohol has become a common stress reliever. Often used as a relaxant, alcohol is used by athletes to get over the thoughts to continually excel and meet public expectations.

In addition to using performance-enhancing drugs and alcohol, athletes often succumb to cocaine and marijuana abuse. As per the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), opioid abuse pushes about 80 percent users toward heroin.

Treatment for drug abuse and alcohol addiction

Addiction to various substances is characterized by a variety of symptoms, including increasing substance tolerance, inability to quit addiction, and withdrawal symptoms in absence of the substance. A variety of factors including biological, social, and physiological factors play an important role in addiction. Most of the treatment programs offered in drug and alcohol rehab centers offer a comprehensive treatment package consisting of following steps:

Detoxification: It helps an individual overcome physical aspects of addiction by clearing the body of harmful toxins. A medically assisted detox also involves a medical health professional administer medications to manage the withdrawal symptoms and to make the detox process less painful.

Counseling: Counseling sessions help individuals explore the root cause and identify triggers responsible for substance or alcohol addiction. It helps an individual identify the true factors behind addiction.

Recovery management: A recovery management program helps individuals adjust in daily life activities and maintain sobriety after the treatment program. It may include additional counseling sessions and drug testing.

Recovery road map

Characterized by dependence on a particular substance, addiction can be difficult to treat. To overcome addiction to drugs and alcohol, individuals often require the help of a trained medical health professional in a specialized addiction treatment center.

If you or someone you know is addicted to alcohol, contact the Alcohol Addiction Get Help to get the treatment at one of the best alcohol addiction treatment centers in U.S.A. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-281-3014 or chat online with experts to know about the best alcohol addiction treatment centers in your locality.