“You’re not going to get judged to want to get help,” NHL player Nate Thompson admits when asked what his key message was in this interview.
In a study commissioned by ESPN, just under half of all professional sports players battled with substance use disorder at some point in their careers. While Nate Thompson’s story is not unique, it shows the darker side of professional sports.
I applaud Nate for coming forward about his struggle, but there is another message that is hidden in this interview. Overcoming substance use disorder is about making new connections. People who are affected by this condition, do so because they need to connect something because of a lack of someone to connect to.
Portugal managed to decriminalize all drugs and put the money they used for enforcement into finding people employment or offering small business loans to substance users. The effect on substance use disorder is that drug use declined by 50%. Substance use disorder is all about connections.