The Fix: Are Athletes More Vulnerable to Addiction?

Physical activity and a healthy lifestyle often go together, but there’s also a dark side to athletic participation: substance addiction.

Joe Putignano knew he was different from the other kids at his elementary school. As his classmates paid attention, absorbing the lessons and their teacher’s words, Putignano let his mind wander. But it wasn’t lunch or video games that consumed his thoughts. All Putignano could think about was gymnastics. “I’d take my pencil and pretend the desk was the floor mat at the Olympics. I’d tumble with the pencil and my mom would get calls all the time,” he says.

Hilary Adorno