Opioid abuses is relatively a new risk in professional baseball, which is why regular testing for them has not been put in place by Major League Baseball just yet. With the recent autopsy of Angels pitcher, Tyler Skaggs, it looks like his death has sparked a much needed conversation between the commissioner’s office and the player’s union to include regular testing of opioids in the random screening process.
“For several reasons, including the tragic loss of a member of our fraternity and other developments happening in the country as a whole, it is appropriate and important to reexamine all of our drug protocols relating to education, treatment and prevention.” – Tony Clark, MLBPA Statement
An average of 130 Americans die each day from opioid overdose and it’s time that this epidemic is given the attention that it needs. It’s a growing problem that most of us have heard about or experienced with friends and family and the platform the MLB provides is priceless to help fix the core issues at hand.
If you’re not familiar with the opioid problem and think that this won’t affect you or your loved ones, think again. Getting ahead of the problem is much better than dealing with the problem unprepared:
Under a join drug prevention and treatment program outlined by the league and player’s association, fentanyl and oxycodone are included in the list of drugs, but they are not routinely tested for unless there is reasonable cause or if a player is already in treatment for abuse.
Let’s hope this is a step in the right direction for Major League Baseball and our community to raise awareness on this national epidemic.
h/t: LA Times