Cocaine Use On The Rise Among NHL Players
It is no secret that addictions often rear their ugly heads within the world of professional sports. Injuries can easily lead to painkiller prescriptions and ultimately, a damaging habit. And truth be told, no team or division is immune to this. In fact, it was recently revealed that the National Hockey League (or NHL) has been dealing with issues related to cocaine and ecstasy.
Coming out of a viral article within The Atlantic, along with a 2019 ESPN survey, there have been increasing stats pointing to addiction issues within the NHL. Several anonymous coaches, players and executives revealed that there is a real problem within the league.
Certain Atlantic revelations tie back to postgame partying and wild nights on the road. Cocaine often fits in, as players criss cross the country and celebrate important victories. On the ecstasy side, molly has been singled out as a particular drug of choice.
“It’s really the secret that everybody knows,” a recently retired NHL player explained to The Atlantic. “Drugs like coke and molly create are popular for the euphoric type feeling that they create. It mimics that feeling when we get on the ice, when our hearts are racing and there’s blood coursing through our veins. It’s that feel-good drug.”
The ESPN poll only strengthened that sentiment, highlighting that nearly half of the player respondents felt the league had a cocaine problem. Secondary questions in the survey also pointed out that many disagree with the NHL’s recreational drug policy and feel stronger actions need to be taken.
Truth be told, though, there have been more punishments handed out against players caught using in recent months. Evgeny Kuznetsov, a high profile center for the Washington Capitals, was banned for a cocaine incident that occurred in Russia. And Los Angeles Kings star Jarret Stoll was arrested for drug possession, which had serious professional repercussions.
Several players did go on the record for The Atlantic piece, calling out the seriousness of the problem. Anaheim Ducks forward Adam Henrique showed genuine concern for his NHL brethren, emphasizing that these issues need to be addressed on a larger scale.
“Cocaine is such a huge drug now within the league,” Henrique added. “It seems so casual, that it’s not a big deal; like having a beer almost, which is kinda scary. Where does it stop?”