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Olympians Struggle with Post-Training Addictions

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

depressed athlete after a raceFor some professional athletes, the real struggle takes place after the training ends. Professional athletes are more prone to substance abuse, eating disorders and suicide. New research sheds some light on this trend, finding that intensive exercise can be just as addictive as drugs and lead to fierce withdrawal symptoms. According to Bloomberg News, scientists in Melbourne have found that a third of elite athletes are unhealthily obsessed with exercise and believe that not exercising would lead to severe physical, mental and social consequences. Researchers at Tufts University found that both drugs and exercise activate a biological “reward system” that produces addictive endorphins.  As many pro athletes can attest, depression and substance abuse can set in when an athlete has to retire or can no longer perform. According to Frances Quirk, co-editor-in-chief of the journal Performance Enhancement & Health, “Being an elite athlete is actually not that good for your health.”

Source: Bloomberg News Olympians Hanging Up Cleats Risk Drug Addict-Like Ills

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