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Athletes for Natural Alternative
Opioid painkillers have long been the answer for athletes facing chronic or acute pain. With growing concerns over abuse and addiction, there has been a sustained movement among athletes over the past decade for natural alternatives to dealing with pain and recovery. Professional and amateur athletes dealing with recurrent pain, soreness, and injuries are employing cupping (a traditional Chinese medicinal treatment), acupuncture, and massage therapy. Professional football in the United States has been ground zero for the movement for alternatives to prescription painkillers. In a sport where violence, regular injuries, and constant pain are the norm, numerous detailed reports have revealed high levels of painkiller abuse, misuse, and addiction by current and former players. Studies have found that the majority of retired players are prescribed painkillers, with most admitting to misusing these drugs and often receiving them from nonmedical sources. With marijuana now legal for recreational or medical use in more than half of the states in the United States, there are hopes from many athletes for nationwide legalization. Cannabis is increasingly being viewed as an alternative to opioid painkillers, with many professional athletes voicing their support for medical marijuana use as a response to recurrent pain.
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