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Should Adderall Be Banned From eSports? Amphetamines and Sports

The amphetamine, which is listed as a Schedule II prescription drug with an accepted medical use, is noted for having ahigh potential for abuse. Fingers click furiously as players race to end the game before their opponent respawns. With one final hit, their enemy’s structure has been taken down and “Victory” flashes on their screen.

Most of the usage however is pretty hidden in plain sight, with only anecdotal evidence and the occasional player slipping up about its usage. With more and more people playing, it’s hard to know how many people might be looking for a chemical boost. Gilbert and ESPN eSports writer Rod Breslau agreed that there was probably more of an issue in first person shooter games like “Halo” and “Call of Duty” than in other competitive games like “Dota” or “Starcraft”.

adderall esports

Sign up to get the best content of the week, and great gaming deals, as picked by the editors. Clearing up misunderstandings about Adderall and other stimulants, and the risks of using them if you don’t have ADHD. “We were all on Adderall,” Kory alcoholic lung disease “SEMPHIS” Friesen said in an interview with YouTube interviewerMohan “Launders” Govindasamy. Friesen was referring to a $250,000 prize tournament in Poland that took place in March 2015, where he competed with a prominent eSports group, Cloud9 .

What can we do about Aderall use in esports in the long run?

I’m also a yoga instructor, and have been actively teaching group and private classes for nearly a decade. Meanwhile, abusing amphetamines like Adderall can dangerously increase heart rate and blood pressure and can cause anxiety and other negative side effects. ESPN’s dive into Adderall abuse comes just one day after the network launched their own dedicated eSports vertical.

The organization has always prohibited the use of drugs, alcohol, and other performance enhancers, but never before tested players for narcotics. More and more video games are being produced with future professional tournaments in mind. Recent releases, such as Overwatch and Rocket League, have already begun to dominate the world of professional eSports. Last week CDL pro player Huke revealed the extent of his Adderall use. In a 30-minute video, the competitive player came up publicly with the way in which he utilized the drug at

Should pro gamers in this situation be exempt from rules governing the use of prescription stimulants? Companies like ESL would presumably have a riot on their hands if they demanded that players disobey the instructions of their healthcare provider and stop taking medication the that’s been prescribed to them. Many professional sporting bodies like the NFL have banned the use of Adderall, and with the drug’s effects being so uncannily well-suited for eSports competitors, it was only a matter of time before these drug-banning rules would come into play.

From my experience, when I’ve played cs while on adderal(I’m not prescribed for it) I’ve been able to hold angles easier. I’d always tunnel vision on kills and more often than not die from overextending. This was in a casual setting, so idk if pros on lan would be the same. There’s another possible explanation for why players believe ADHD medication is helping them, and it’s a simple one—that they have undiagnosed ADHD. It’s used to “help people with ADHD feel more focused,” according to a study published in Brain and Behavior.

  • However, people who have increased heart rate and anxiety experience them more as dosage increases, and there’s no medical professional helping esports players ensure they’re taking the right amount of pills.
  • Sloss isn’t the first esports professional to highlight the widespread use of the drug.
  • Adderall and similar medications are usually used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, but some people use them to boost their energy and alertness.
  • It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.
  • When pushed, he admitted that everyone used some type of performance enhancing drug, specifically at ESEA LAN. Oddly, he was Friesen was cut from Cloud9 after underperforming at the very ESL event that we’ve confirmed that he was using.

She loves everything from RPGs to shooters, and has a passion for Call of Duty esports. She has written for The Loadout, theScore esports, OpTic Intel, and more. When not writing or gaming Crystal is usually working in surgery, strapping on some boxing gloves, or trying to figure out what her My Hero Academia quirk would be. Well, the recent interview with Friesen seems to suggest otherwise.

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The overall picture is an entire league that is using performance-enhancing drugs for esports. However, at this point it is looking like the use of the drug is more of an epidemic. Mozingo told Naqi that yes, he’d used Adderall in tournaments without a prescription, though he said he’d stopped using the drug. The culture of stimulant use even contributed to Sloss’ decision to step back from professional gaming. “The Adderall abuse was too much to keep up with,” he explained. Born with a controller in her hand, Crystal has been a lifelong gamer who has been known to obsessively ramble about Dragon Age theories.

Someone who is buying pills over the internet is not going to have the same experience. Recently, several professional athletes have begun investing in eSports. With the support of big names like Shaquille O’Neal to A-Rod, the recognition of eSports as a thriving industry has added to its legitimacy as a sport. Yet unlike the National Football League, performance-enhancing drugs are still failing to be regulated. At the same time, eSports has emerged as a major-league spectator sport, rivaling professional sporting events in size by selling out giant arenas and attracting millions of viewers in-person and virtually.

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It’ll of course always be quite the hot topic as each player wants to have the best competitive edge. The world’s largest eSports organization league will begin randomly drug testing its players in competitive gaming tournaments. Overall, my main concern is as with all doping in sports less about whether it gives you an unfair advantage, and more about the culture it propagates and the effects it might have on the players’ health. That won’t make a real difference in terms of useage in the us cause american doctors hand out adderall like tic tacs, but it’s an important message to send regarding other drugs.

adderall esports

Are we at the point where we need to administer drug tests in eSports to forestall the use of drugs in virtual arenas? Earlier this month Kory Friesen shed light on a growing problem that has thus far been kept rather quiet. Friesen was very pointed about the fact they himself, and his entire team, have used ADHD medication during competitions to enhance their focus. Focus-enhancing prescription drugs, specifically Adderall, have been be reported to have been used in tournaments in the past, begging the question as to whether or not drug tests are now necessary. As with all “performance enhancing” drugs, it depends on your personality and your metabolism. I’m in medschool, during studying season and exams many people are severely drugged, from caffeine/guarana to beta blockers to adderall/ritaline to cocaine in some cases.

We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of naltrexone for alcoholism the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers. ESports competitions mirror professional sports tournaments in production. Casters offer commentary on gameplay and analyst desks provide post-game analysis of gameplay and players.

Personally, I’ve been lucky with side effects and the main one I experience is simply a dry mouth. However, people who have increased heart rate and anxiety experience them more as dosage increases, and there’s no medical professional helping esports players ensure they’re taking the right amount of pills. Most leagues and games have opted to give an exception in the case of prescription drugs.

Adderall in esports

In circumstances similar to mine and/or identical to mine, it should not be banned as that creates an unfair advantage. I am 19 at the moment and still suffer from ADHD, so not all cases are identical, meaning there can be no generic age limit to prevent using stimulants based on diagnoses date and stuff like that. I wanted to start a discussion to hear everyone’s thoughts on the use of Adderall as a performance enhancing substance in esports. Having a stimulant in your system might make you feel more alert, but as Dr. Dodson says, it won’t necessarily improve your reaction time or accuracy.

Yet after each tournament, while the winning team celebrates, their opponents watch VODs of the game series, timing how long it took them to react and dissecting every mistake made. For every misplay, they’ll discuss strategies to do better, from improving their lane tactics to increasing their dosage of Adderall. In the last decade, dozens of athletes have received suspensions for testing positive for Adderall.

Psychiatrist Dr. William W. Dodson agrees, pointing out that the potential dangers of abusing ADHD medication are if anything over-researched. “In the last 10 years there have been 16 studies on the rate of diversion and abuse of ADHD medications on college campuses”, he notes. Meanwhile, the mechanism for their effectiveness is comparatively poorly understood and under-studied. “This is because the researchers do not want to challenge the narrative that these drugs are highly abused and that they need to be paid to study the phenomenon.” As the Brain and Behavior paper points out, Adderall is “more effective at correcting deficits than ‘enhancing performance,'” making it relatively redundant for high performers like professional eSports players.

Although the ESL didn’t look into the allegations, they began implementing performance-enhancing drug skin tests at their tournaments. Since its implementation, ESL has yet to have any players test positive. The most radical proposal thus far has been to outright ban all of these substances in competitive play, and allow the current players with valid prescriptions stay on board for the duration of their careers. Newly here’s why you wake up early after a night of drinking signed players have to be clean entirely to be able to compete, which would mean any up and coming player with a valid prescription will be discriminated against. This “solution” is radical and would solve the Aderall problem, but creates a whole new problem with players being actively discriminated by the leagues. It is impossible to know just how widespread the problem is since few players openly talk about it.

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But in post-game interviews, when asked how they plan to improve for future tournaments, they’ll always keep Adderall as their best-kept secret. Valve, the company behind DoTA 2, also does not include any rules against performance-enhancing drugs like Adderall in theirtournament rules. Similarly, Blizzard Entertainment’s Heroes of the Dorm tournament also did not include substance abuse in its official tournament rules. In its partnership with Tespa and ESPN to create a March Madness-style tournament for its game, Heroes of the Storm, neither organization has adopted regulations for substance abuse in their tournament rules. All three of the largest—Riot Games, Blizzard Entertainment, and Valve—do not currently include regulations for substance use during professional tournaments. From improving focus to aiding in strategy creation, they make Adderall seem like a cure to the fatigue that stems from staring at a screen for hours at a time.

There’s a placebo effect involved too, with the expectation that a ‘magic pill’ can make you better resulting in increased confidence. That’s definitely a worry for people with heart problems, and one of the reasons a GP is typically consulted before treatment. The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes.

Adderall use in esports would appear to be really quite widespread. Pros in the vast majority of titles have spoken out about their Adderall uses. However, Huke’s video is one of the bigger cases of a major player admitting to it. A good number of Overwatch pros have spoken out about their Adderall use in the past.

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