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Monitoring Pain Killers in Young Athletes

December 06, 2016 08:56 PM

(ABC 6 NEWS) – Prescription painkiller overdose deaths have quadrupled since 1999.

ABC 6 News wanted to take a look at where addiction could start and how the medical community is working to prevent it.

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Some athletes have a greater chance of being prescribed painkillers because of the high risk of an injury.

Mayo Clinic provides athletic trainers for 27 schools in southeast Minnesota. Supervisor Chad Eickhoff says an athletic trainer’s role is more important now than ever before in the fight against ending addiction.

“I certainly think that’s important for me to communicate with my staff as a group that we talk about it and look for those red flags,” said Eickhoff. “It is a key role for the athletic trainer to recognize that maybe there’s something that isn’t needed in regards to pain killers and communicate with a doctor immediately about that.”

Senior fullback Brenden Trahan recently battled a shoulder injury. Trahan and his dad talked with their team’s trainer and all agreed that painkillers were not the best option to help him get back on the field.

“I didn’t want to get to the point where I needed to take a stronger pain med and then all of a sudden get injured again not really feel it and have something worse happen and ruin my career in the future,” said Brenden.

“I think trainers have an obligation, doctors have an obligation that if someone’s not ready to go, they may not want to give that news to the player but it’s the right thing to do,” added Brenden’s father Brad Trahan.

Eickhoff says it’s also on parents to intervene if they feel their child is abusing prescription medication.

“It’s really important that the parents know and have that discussion with their kids,” says Eickhoff.


Credits

Karsen Forsman

Copyright 2016 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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