On A Very Special Episode of HBO’s Ballers: Killing Pain with Pain Killers

On A Very Special Episode of HBO’s Ballers:  Killing Pain with Pain Killers

I’ve recently emerged from living under a rock and got expanded cable.  Blame it on having a baby and actually being home!  We didn’t even have a remote control until recently (feel free to judge).

At the recommendation of my father who knows I work in sports, the HBO series, Ballers, was at the very top of his ‘catch up with living in 2016’ list.  And so I did!  After binge watching all of Season 1 and just getting into Season 2 I can say a few things about my addiction to this show:

  • Given that my patients include elite professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, Horse racing, etc., the show is so real it’s almost eerie instead of entertaining. Ballers is based here in Miami and I recognize the locations near my apartment, restaurants, local characters and even stranger, the business side of working with pro athletes. My brother Mark Doman, CEO of The Doman Group is like a Spencer Strasmore in real life.  Minus the pro football career, but plus  graduate degrees in both law and business from George Washington University as well as credentials to be an SEC and NFLPA registered investment advisor, my brother has spent the last 15 years protecting the finances of his very large family of wealthy clients, including a large number of professional athletes.  Once an athlete hits his/her pay day, I’ve seen all creatures near and far come out of the woodwork to suck an athletes’ financial success dry.  Fortunate for his clients, these creatures have to get through Mark and his team first!
  • Spencer Strasmore, the financial advisor on the show (played by Dwayne, ‘The Rock’, Johnson), pops prescription narcotics like candy throughout every episode for his post-football career pain. You may have even been given something similar after a dental procedure or surgery to handle the pain.
Ring ring - Got my meds?

Ring ring – Got my meds?

Why does Spencer’s medical doctor call foul on his prescription opioid use early in Season 2?

Spencer has become addicted.  SO addicted that when his doctor looks to collaborate on alternative pain management options, he uses a fake name to visit a shady clinic in a shady part of town so a shady doctor who is not managing his care nor has his best interest in mind, can hook him up.

And why is this story line so heavily developed on a major TV network show? 

Because opioid addiction isn’t just common with athletes but also with the lay public – people watching TV from their couches at home.   We’ve hit crisis mode here in America. According to the CDC, there has been a 300% increase in opioid prescription sales since 1999 without overall change in reported pain.  Opioid overdose deaths (deaths!!!) have quadrupled and opioid use disorder/addiction is at its peak.
Did I mention there is no overall change in reported pain?

The U.S. Surgeon General is working towards solving this urgent health crisis.  He is reaching out to 2.3 million health care providers and leaders across the U.S. like us and asking for assistance by providing tools and guidelines to help reduce the number of opioid prescriptions and addictions nation-wide.  So here we are!

What are Opioids you ask?

Opioids are pain-relieving medications.    You may have heard of a few: hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (OxyContin & Percocet), morphine, codeine, and many other related drugs.   For those who think their designer drugs are perfectly safe for regular use, heroin is also an opioid, for a little perspective. These drugs reduce the intensity of pain signals that reach the brain and turn down the effects of a painful stimulus.

What’s wrong with this pain medication?

If taken in excess or for an extended amount of time, opioid dependence or addiction can develop.  Chronic use of opioids increases your risk for serious medical complications and can be very harmful to both your internal organs and general daily function.

Oh snap - breaking off more than you can chew with opioids

Oh snap – breaking off more than you can chew with opioids

So how do I decrease my pain without medication?

Prescription opioids can be an important part of treatment in some circumstances such as acute severe injury or post-surgery.   Alternative pain reducing treatments at Miami Sports Chiropractic & Yoga Center like chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage, physical therapy, cupping, yoga, Pilates, meditation, regular exercise, and proper nutrition have been shown to help immensely with acute and chronic pain.

How do I find a professional alternative pain relief treatment facility?

If you live in the Aventura and Miami areas: we’ve got your back and have helped hundreds of patients decrease their dependency on opioids while improving their quality of life.   Let Us Help You!