In October, PewterReport.com spoke to an agent about the widespread use of Adderall throughout the world of professional sports. His insight was surprising and something that hadn't been reported before. Below is the original story, taken from one of PewterReport.com's premium Pewter Insider articles.
In October, after it was first reported that Buccaneers cornerback Eric Wright had tested positive for Adderall, PewterReport.com’s Mark Cook spoke to a well-respected agent who shared some interesting facts about the drug and some misconceptions about the reason it is becoming more and more widespread throughout the sports world.
The story below was part of PewterReport.com’s Premium insider content appearing in Cook’s Pewter Confidential column last month.
This is an example of the type of coverage and analysis provided by PewterReport.com for just $10 per year. To become a Pewter Insider, and get access to over 200 premium stories, contact PewterReport.com by calling (813) 805-8774 or 1-800-881-BUCS(2827).
This story debuted on October 31, 2012 on PewterReport.com as part of the Pewter Confidential. PewterReport.com is no way implying that Wright used the drug, Adderall, recreationally or otherwise.
With the Buccaneers possibly facing losing cornerback Eric Wright for four games after allegedly testing positive for the drug Adderall – this while Aqib Talib is also serving a four-game suspension for the same thing – many people, including myself, are wondering what is going on here and what exactly is this Adderall phase we are seeing across professional sports?
I called a well-known agent friend to get his thoughts, and all I did was mention the word Adderall and the agent immediately took it from there.
“First of all, this spike we see in Adderall is just a small percentage of players who are actually using it,” The agent said. “It is convenient to use the ADHD as an excuse why players are testing positive. Not only in society is Adderall being abused but all across sports. Are there players who have a legitimate need for it? Of course, but nowhere in the numbers we see (who are taking it). It is extremely easy to get both with and without a prescription. Which make its it even more mind-boggling that so many players are getting popped without a prescription.”
The agent went on to talk about the somewhat surprising true reasons many are using the drug.
“To say it is performance-enhancing is kind of absurd,” the agent said. “It can help a person focus and does give them some extra ability to get things done, that is one reason why people in high pressure-type jobs, like the legal profession and the financial world, are abusing it. But to think that NFL players, or even baseball or others in sports are using it for that reason just isn’t true for the most part.
“I would venture to say the majority of players using it as a party drug.”
The agent continued explaining why it is being abused in a recreational setting.
“I can tell you Adderall allows athletes to stay out all night partying, drinking and doing whatever they do without the repercussions of a hangover and the side effects,” the agent said. “You get hammered at a club, you pop an Adderall and all of a sudden you aren’t slurring your words, you are coherent and although it is 5 a.m. in the morning, you can walk into the team’s facility a few hours later ready to practice with minimal side effects.
“So here is a player who could have went out for a few hours, had a few shots and walked out with a $500 bar tab, but instead take Adderall, continues to drink to show off with to his buddies and then has a $2,000 bar tab. Another agent and I were just talking about it the other day. It is so ludicrous.”
The agent talked about how the league is somewhat turning a blind eye towards it.
“Adderall isn’t going to destroy your liver or fry your brain like some other narcotics will,” the agent said. “So it isn’t viewed in the same negative light that say crack cocaine or some of the other drugs with a bad reputation are. And since it is a legal drug if obtained the right way, it doesn’t have the same negative connotations that the hard drugs do, which in a sense, helps protects the reputation of the league somewhat.
“I wish the league would just come out and say why the majority of these players are taking it. They, and most organizations know guys are not using it as prescribed and are doing it to allow them to party harder and longer.”
There is another big reason why so many players are taking a chance using Adderall.
“Look, it gets out of your system relatively quickly,” the agent said. “It’s gone in days as opposed to weed or more with other drugs. So the odds of getting caught are smaller than say marijuana, which might be traceable for more than 30 days. If you get busted for Adderall it really is bad luck in a sense.
“But again the foolish thing is players can easily obtain a prescription for it. And with the doctor-patient confidentiality laws, the doctor doesn’t necessarily have to disclose a whole lot about why it is being prescribed. Yes the league requires a waiver but it isn’t too difficult to get through that hurdle.”
The agent wasn’t implying that Wright (if the Jay Glazer report turns out to be accurate) or Aqib Talib were using Adderall as a party drug, but he did say it says a lot about a person’s character.
“If you take a look at a lot of the guys who have been popped for Adderall, you will see a lot of knuckleheads,” the agent said. “You will see guys who have had issues – some going all the way back to their college days. Not every single one of them, but a good portion.”
While the numbers of athletes in all sports who are being caught using Adderall continues to grow, the agent said he doesn’t really see a solution.
“Again, it is tough because the drug is supposed to be used to treat a condition,” the agent said. “But most (in the NFL) know that it is being used for other reasons. But it is perfect for the players in a sense because they can easily say it was to help them focus and so on. So the negative perception is completely different than say getting busted for steroids, or some other type of drug.”Editor's Note:
PewterReport.com isn't implying Wright or Talib were using Adderall as a party drug, nor was the agent that was interviewed. Wright said in his statement released through the Buccaneers on Monday he was taking the drug to help him with a health issue. PewterReport.com was the first to report that Wright was diagnosed with an undisclosed illness last spring that kept him out of practice on a number of occasions during mini-camp and OTAs.
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