Brandon Novak first made a name for himself as a professional skateboarder.
Hand-selected by Tony Hawk, Brandon joined the Powell-Peralta team and was the first skateboarder to be endorsed by Gatorade. Skateboarding became his first ticket to fame followed by his rise as an MTV celebrity. Although skateboarding was a huge part of Brandon Novak’s life, so was his addiction to heroin. Like many other athletes, professional and amateur, opioids had consumed his life and taken over.
Athletes & Opioid Addiction
Opioids are a type of drug used to treat pain. They include prescription painkillers like codeine and morphine as well as heroin and synthetic opioids made in labs. You’ve probably heard them being talked about on the news with the opioid epidemic as their use has been getting out of control.
Prescription opioids are often given by doctors to treat pain following a serious injury or surgery. They are also given out to people who deal with chronic pain. While a lot of people have taken prescription opioids for one reason or another, athletes are often return users.
In many ways, athletes and opioids go hand in hand. After an injury, you are given some painkillers to ease the pain. After surgery, you are sent home with a pill-bottle full of them. Professional athletes especially put their bodies through a lot and have a big risk of injury compared to the average human. Professional skateboarders for example are flying through the air trying to land a gazelle flip. Similarly, football players spend hours getting tackled left and right. Letting an injury prevent them from competing could cost them a hefty paycheck or a winning title.
Because of this, opioid abuse by athletes is not uncommon. Many athletes are prescribed painkillers to help them fight through their injuries, but when that alone is not enough, some may take more than they should. Over time because these drugs are addictive, doing this is what leads to painkiller addiction in athletes.
Some athletes who become hooked may go one step further. Heroin is a stronger and usually cheaper alternative to prescription painkillers. You do not need a doctor’s note; instead, you can just buy some off the street. Most heroin addicts abused prescription painkillers first, but crossing this line is more trouble. Using heroin is a one-way ticket to a life that gets out of control. Athletes who become heroin addicts can lose their job, fame, and fortune. Just look at what happened to Brandon.
Fortunately, after many stints of rehab
, Brandon was able to quit. His life is now filled with a lot more than just skateboarding and heroin. He is now a best-selling author, speaker, and Certified Intervention Professional
as well trying to help others who struggle with addiction.
To speak to Brandon about your own problems with addiction, reach out to him at 610-947-5587