NFL Team Joins Prescription Drug Abuse Fight

inrxtfWith the ongoing media attention the NFL is receiving for allegedly providing players with illegal prescriptions of narcotic painkillers, the Colts have spoken out against prescription drug abuse. As we reported earlier, several former NFL players have accused the NFL of keeping them medicated on the prescription painkillers without allowing for healing time on game-related injuries and handing out opiates without a prescription. The Colts have partnered up with the Indiana Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force to warn of the dangers of prescription drug abuse and highlight the growing problem in Indiana.

Nearly 1,000 Indiana residents died from prescription drug abuse-related causes in 2012 alone, a number that has doubled in less than a decade. Indiana physicians have caused the state to be ranked in the top ten in the country when it comes to the amount of prescription painkillers that are prescribed. Perhaps due to the amount of prescriptions that are being written, Indiana is also 17th when it comes to overdoses in the country. These alarming statistics have prompted the NFL team and Attorney General Greg Zoeller to speak up and take a stand against prescription drug abuse.

“Teaming with the Colts and their professional athletes will allow us to focus public attention on this epidemic and the need to help those held in the grip of pain and addiction. My hope is that, with the support of the Colts we can save many lives from this growing problem” explains Zoeller.

Colts owner and CEO, Jim Irsay, is proud to be speaking out against prescription drug abuse. He stated that when you look at the numbers it is clear that prescription drug abuse is not just affecting one section of the population. Prescription drug abuse is widespread and a problem that many Indiana residents are dealing with. Using the Colts as a platform for change is something that will reach more than one group of people. One way that the Colts are supporting an anti-prescription drug abuse campaign is by supporting the Indiana Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force during “Colts City”. The task force will have a booth and be passing around flyers as well as answering any questions.

Skeptics might think this is more of a PR move by the team, especially since Irsay was arrested in March and charged with a DUI. He claimed he hasn’t had any alcohol in over a decade, but declined to comment about what substance he had consumed. Hopefully this marks a turning point for his personal recovery and also serve as an example for other NFL franchises to follow regarding combating prescription drug abuse.