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I get bored with baseball too, but Adderall isn't the answer.
November 27, 2012 11:56 PM   Subscribe

What do NASCAR's AJ Allmendinger, Joe Haden of the Cleveland Browns, New York Giants safety Tyler Sash, Carlos "Chooch" Ruiz of the Philadelphia Phillies, and many other athletes have in common? They have all used a performance enhancing substance that is growing in popularity among athletes, one that is widely prescribed and which is taken by millions of children every day. The drug in question is Adderall: The combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine is used as part of a treatment program to control symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Professional leagues generally allow the use of Adderall for treatment purposes. As it pertains to Major League Baseball, in 2011 a total of 105 players were granted exemptions under the league’s drug policy to fill prescriptions for Adderall according to an NBCSports.com article. That’s about one in every 10 players, a much higher rate than the general population.

Adderall is said to enhance performance and stamina, but some sources claim that the potential boost in physical performance is a bit of a myth and that one amphetamine can not be distinguished from others in a test, so Adderall may only be a convenient excuse for use of illegal amphetamines. In the NFL the type of drug the athlete has tested positive for is not released publicly, and suspicions have been raised that athletes are claiming a failed test for Adderall rather than drugs such as steroids or HGH that have a less innocent reputation. Other NFL players simply drank from the wrong bottle. (Or maybe there was a sample switch.)

Adderall use is common performance enhancer among students: Even the phrase “the study drug” seems mildly contradictory, an oddly tame and constructive form of rebellion, a prescription drug abuse with a very modest, one could say almost praiseworthy goal: to concentrate a little better on a paper or test.

Similar stimulants are used to maintain alertness in battle: According to military sources, the use of such drugs (commonly Dexedrine) is part of a cycle that includes the amphetamines to fight fatigue, and then sedatives to induce sleep between missions. Pilots call them "go pills" and "no-go pills."

Adderall is one of the most commonly abused prescription drugs, and professional athletes may be primed for addiction in unique ways: A study published in the Journal of Sports Sciences, which tracked competitive runners in the U.S. and triathletes in Hong Kong, found more than half had compulsive-exercise tendencies. As Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton described it when he was sidelined with a back injury, “alcohol and drugs were the closest thing I could find to getting that feeling when I was playing the game.”
posted by Drinky Die (30 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Will they ban the consumption of coffee before events, too?
posted by dunkadunc at 12:04 AM on November 28, 2012


Or cracking champagne or even a beer afterwards.
posted by dunkadunc at 12:05 AM on November 28, 2012


Not many of us remember the old ADHD League. It was the bottom of the ninth, score was tied, bases were loaded, three fouls and two strikes.

Sorry.

Kittens.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:24 AM on November 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


I mean really? Adderall? That stuff is as tame as milk.

The last thing we need in this world is more laws to punish people with.
posted by dunkadunc at 12:29 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


The last thing we need in this world is more laws to punish people with.

Personally, I couldn't care whether atheletes were freebasing cocaine before competing, but the rules of sporting competitions hardly count as laws.

If you don't like the rules, go compete elsewhere.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:17 AM on November 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


I couldn't care whether atheletes were freebasing cocaine before competing

I like the old days, when you could win by a nose.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:20 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've heard that a good nap before an event can increase your performance.

I've said too much, haven't I?
posted by HuronBob at 2:51 AM on November 28, 2012


Fans of the 1980's Pittsburgh Pirates weren't too keen on them using the cocaine. It didn't work out too well.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 2:55 AM on November 28, 2012


I was always impressed with the pole vaulting team, who were all rabid coke users, because they would show up with really long straws. If I remember correctly.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:15 AM on November 28, 2012


In all seriousness, as someone with ADHD but no medical benefits right now, it really pisses me off when this kind of thing gets press because it makes it that much harder for people who actually need drugs like Adderall so they can function to actually get them. To someone like me, Adderall isn't a "performance enhancer" - it's just a way to experience "baseline normal."
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 3:29 AM on November 28, 2012 [11 favorites]


In the NFL the type of drug the athlete has tested positive for is not released publicly

Anyone got a reason for this?
posted by kersplunk at 3:34 AM on November 28, 2012


@kersplunk - I believe that may be part of the Players' Association agreement with the NFL.
posted by kuanes at 4:14 AM on November 28, 2012


"coffee" "tame as milk"

I don't trust the pharma industry to warn me if Adderall is dangerous.
posted by surplus at 4:33 AM on November 28, 2012


Amphetamine is one of the oldest and safest drugs out there. When used in a therapeutic context, at therapeutic levels. There is a vast chasm between therapeutic use and performance enhancing abuse.

I would not want to be denied the chance to compete in professional athletics, simply because I happen to suffer from ADHD.

The thing with baseball, in particular, is that part of the game is that the season is a long, boring drag. Teams that win are the teams that combine good play on the field with coping with the drag of a long season.

I can say with some authority (as a ADHD sufferer who uses Adderall), that if someone uses it as a performance enhancer, they aren't going to win in the long run. What goes up must come down.

That said, amphetamine abuse is somewhat of a baseball tradition. I heard an announcer tell a funny "old baseball" story of a guy- it might have been Pete Rose, or someone like that from that time- taking his pregame "greenie" right before a rain delay struck.
posted by gjc at 5:23 AM on November 28, 2012


Real men pitch no-hitters tripping balls on LSD.
posted by bardic at 5:56 AM on November 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Will they ban the consumption of coffee before events, too?

They already did! Caffeine levels were regulated by the World Anti Doping Association up until 2004. Part of the reason it was dropped as a performance enhancing drug was that it becomes performance inhibiting at a very low level due to its affects on coordination.
posted by srboisvert at 6:04 AM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man, if you guys are comparing Adderall to coffee then I would like a cup of your coffee every morning cause Adderall gets me fucking WIRED.
posted by nathancaswell at 6:12 AM on November 28, 2012


I mean really? Adderall? That stuff is as tame as milk.

milk with a high addition potential
posted by caddis at 7:04 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I believe that may be part of the Players' Association agreement with the NFL

That's correct. An NFL player who fails a drug test can claim it was for Adderall regardless of what the actual drug was because the NFL cannot refute it per the CBA. You can thank Garrett Hartley for the technique.
posted by yerfatma at 7:11 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


(maybe if I had some Adderall this morning I wouldn't be dropping lettrs as I typ)
posted by caddis at 7:12 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lately it seems like the whole world is on Adderall.
posted by guiseroom at 7:44 AM on November 28, 2012


In all seriousness, as someone with ADHD but no medical benefits right now, it really pisses me off when this kind of thing gets press because it makes it that much harder for people who actually need drugs like Adderall so they can function to actually get them. To someone like me, Adderall isn't a "performance enhancer" - it's just a way to experience "baseline normal."

Articles like this piss me off because it makes me worry that while I *have* been diagnosed as ADHD by my doctor, I'm really just lazy and am using it as a "performance enhancer."
posted by Lucinda at 8:09 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I used to take Adderall until my wife got fed up with my constant drymouth. For me, it was this cool smooth day-long ride that took away the tangents my brain would normally come up with. Of course I also lost that beautiful extreme focus which was good for deadlines, etc. I can't say I was ever wired - it was more the opposite of wired.

That said, anyone not with ADHD/ADD would likely get a good buzz off the stuff. Not a tremendous buzz but better than a couple cups of coffee.
posted by Ber at 8:14 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Articles like this piss me off because I *haven't* been diagnosed as ADHD and therefore getting access to Adderall to use as a performance enhancer is a pain in the ass.
posted by nathancaswell at 8:14 AM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Anyone with a firsthand view of the Phillies' 2012 season needed SOME kind of amphetamines to put up with it.
posted by delfin at 8:21 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


As a Phillies fan, seeing Ruiz test positive makes me very sad, because he's a very likable, unassuming player who had a career year in 2012. As a sports fan in general, it's gotten to the point where every time I see any sort of outlying season, I'm going to immediately suspect PEDs. The SABR nerds should start working on some sort of doping probability statistic based on the likelihood that the player's skill set has gotten better versus some sort of chemical enhancement.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:23 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I find it hard to argue with any substance bans in auto racing due to the razor's edge away from death everyone is at pretty much all times. This is less of an issue, say, on the PGA tour.

That said, it seems like there has been a crazy uptick in cases of people getting caught lately. I wonder if this is just one of those cyclical things.
posted by feloniousmonk at 8:44 AM on November 28, 2012


Todd Snider's song America's Favorite Pastime about Dock Ellis, who would laugh at Adderall, and the combination of hallucinogenic drugs and athleticism.

Not be confused with Todd Snider's funny 12 minute story about his personal experience with hallucinogenic drugs and high school football told at Bonnaroo... stick with it.
posted by dios at 10:10 AM on November 28, 2012


The SABR nerds should start working on some sort of doping probability statistic based on the likelihood that the player's skill set has gotten better versus some sort of chemical enhancement.

You can pry Jose Bautista from my cold, dead hands.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:01 PM on November 28, 2012


I find it hard to argue with any substance bans in auto racing due to the razor's edge away from death everyone is at pretty much all times.

But if it really helps you focus, it could improve safety.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:40 PM on November 28, 2012


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