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Prescription drug abuse is continuing to rear its’ ugly head. Every day we hear about the millions of Americans suffering from addiction and the struggles they face in attempts to either fuel their addiction or get help. The NFL organization has had its share of addiction related incidents, last notably through the suicide of Junior Seau, which many have speculate to have been driven by head related traumas caused by steroid use. The newest claim against the NFL comes from former NFL Quarterback Ray Lucas. Ray Lucas says he takes responsibility for his drug addiction as he willingly took the pain medications prescribed to him against directed use. He doesn’t want to pass full blame on the NFL but he says the organization did not educate him on the dangers of pain medication addiction and did not regulate the illegal distribution of the drugs in the locker rooms and throughout the organization. In an article entitled, “Ex-NFL player Lucas takes responsibility for painkiller addiction”, the NFL seemingly passed the blame solely on Lucas after he told the New York post: “I don’t think of my addiction as an N.F.L. problem. It’s my problem. It’s true that my tolerance grew because I took painkillers when I was hurt, but the fact is that I chose to take those pills. I want other people to know that if they see their tolerance growing, rather than just upping the number of pills, talk to a doctor to figure out what’s really going on and what the best steps are for you.” Lucas feels that they misquoted him by taking no accountability for their part in fueling his addiction. He claims that he sought help from the NFL on his addiction and was told they couldn’t help him. “Where was the NFL when I said I would kill myself?” a furious Lucas says. “Where is the story on everything that has happened to my wife and family? Where was the story on that?” – John Lucas – Lucas made a great point in saying that, “…in the recovery world, I have to take responsibility, but in the real world, the NFL had a responsibility and they didn’t help me when I needed it.” It’s very true that when people are in treatment they learn to take accountability for their part in their drug addiction, to own it in order to move forward with their lives. That’s true of life in general and in the principles of forgiveness – we acknowledge our part, forgive and progress forward. That doesn’t mean that the other parties involved are not at fault. The NFL should really reconsider their part in the addictions their employees are developing as a part of their work expectations. That’s really what it all comes down to here, the NFL is a business and its players are employees and as part of their job description they are prone to be injured (not just physically). If part of their job duties includes some possibility that they’ll become addicted – education, prevention and treatment programs need to be in place. It’s 2012 and prescription drug abuse is now a national epidemic but it’s still this big elephant in the room that everyone wants to ignore and place all the blame on the addict for. That is not right. They could have offered him treatment and provided him with resources to get his health back, not tell him they could not help. If you or someone you know needs treatment for prescription drug abuse in Florida, call us at (877) 711-HOPE (4673) or visit us online at   Sources: 

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