NFL heroes warn students of opioid dangers

- The opioid crisis is sweeping the country, affecting people from many different backgrounds including athletes.

On Tuesday some of the pro football heroes spoke to hundreds of local kids about the dangers of prescription drugs -- in sports and in life.
 
It was real talk about a growing epidemic. How is the opioid crisis affecting the world of sports? 

"Don't let your kids, don't allow your teammates, don't allow your friends to get stuck on these drugs because they believe it's all they have," said Braylon Edwards.

Former NFL players and health professionals led an honest conversation Tuesday inside Detroit's cathedral of the most blessed sacrament before roughly 700 area students and community members.

"How many of you here feel like you have a trusted adult whether at school, parent, somebody you can talk to?" said Megan Aubin, Meridian Health Services. "Okay so not everyone here."

Statistics reveal a new record of opioid-related deaths in Michigan and 75 percent of overdoses are related to opioids. 

Former Detroit Lions legend Lomas Brown, spent 18 years in the NFL and stressed to these teens that sometimes a simple injury can lead to abuse.
 
"I had to take Toradol, Percocet, different things just to be ready for the next game," Brown said. "The one thing I told myself once I stopped playing was I was never going to take that stuff again."

It is the second panel of its kind thanks to the sports marketing agency with the NFL Alumni Detroit chapter and Tuesday the master of ceremonies, FOX 2's Huel Perkins, took questions from the kids.

"Do you think some doctors give medication that doesn't need to be given for a certain injury?" asked one student.

"It's tough because you get those pills while you are playing and now you no longer hurt," Edwards said. "But you become Superman."

Speakers encouraged the young athletes to do their research and know what they're putting into their bodies - especially when they feel the pressure to perform and to realize what they could be sacrificing.

"If I could impart one thing with you today, is that help is there," said one panelist. "Ask."

If you would like more information on resources available if you or someone you know is fighting this battle go to:

Families Against Narcotics:  https://www.familiesagainstnarcotics.org/

Catholic Charities of SE Michigan: 855-88-CCSEM

Michigan.gov/opioids or call the national hotline at 1-800-622-HELP
 

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