Report: DEA Investigating Prescription Drug Abuse in NFL Locker Rooms

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 13 2014 1:35 PM

Report: DEA Investigating Prescription Drug Abuse in NFL Locker Rooms

182351500-michael-bennett-of-the-seattle-seahawks-is-taken-off
Michael Bennett of the Seattle Seahawks is taken off the field on a stretcher.

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

The NFL is still grappling with the fallout from the health concerns of former players stemming from concussions and repeated blows to the head during their careers. The perception that the league endangers the health of its players—even knowingly so—hasn’t been helped by another class action lawsuit in May that alleges, as the New York Daily News reports, the league “illegally [provided] prescription drugs to keep players on the field without informing them of the long-term risks.”

On Sunday, the Daily News reports, the feds are even getting involved:

The Drug Enforcement Administration has quietly launched an investigation into the abuse of prescription medication in NFL locker rooms, three sources familiar with the probe told the Daily News. Agents from the DEA’s New York division are reaching out to former players to learn how NFL doctors and trainers get access to potent narcotics such as Percodan and Vicodin or anti-inflammatories such as Toradol, a nonaddictive prescription drug widely used around the league to treat pain.
The DEA’s investigation began shortly after attorneys representing about 1,300 NFL retirees filed a class-action lawsuit in San Francisco federal court on May 20… Court papers show team doctors and trainers widely distributed painkillers, sleeping pills and other drugs without warning players about the risk of addiction or the dangers of mixing powerful medications. The drugs numbed pain, allowing hurt players to return to the field, but they also led to aggravated injuries and created long-term health problems, the lawsuit claims.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.