American Addiction Centers announced it has entered into a partnership with the NFL Alumni Association to offer scholarships for treatment at AAC’s Desert Hope Treatment Center in Las Vegas. Former National Football League players, as well as their spouses and children, are eligible for the program.
Participants will have access to medical detox, residential treatment and outpatient telehealth options, AAC said in a news release.
Desert Hope CEO Derek Price himself is a former NFL player, having played tight end for the Detroit Lions in 1996.
“As a former NFL player, I’ve watched fellow athletes struggle with substance use, and to now be in a position to help them means the world to me,” Price said in the release. “At Desert Hope, we’ve seen an extraordinary number of people seeking help for the first time or relapsing because of the stress, anxiety and isolation caused by COVID-19. We want these former athletes to know whatever they are facing right now, they are not alone and they have a place to turn.”
Studies have shown professional athletes are at an increased risk of alcohol and/or drug addiction. Research by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research indicated rates of heavy drinking and binge drinking among former NFL players is higher than the general population, and a 2011 study published in Drug Alcohol Depend reported that 52% of former players said they used opioids during their careers and of those, 71% said they misused opioids.
AAC announces on-site COVID-19 testing
In a separate announcement, AAC said it is now testing every patient admitted to its treatment centers for COVID-19 with its in-house lab, Addiction Labs. Testing will also be available to current patients and staff showing symptoms of the virus, and test results will be provided within 48 hours, the company said.