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Three England Players Are 'Mixing Alcohol And Sleeping Pills' To Get High

Three England Players Are 'Mixing Alcohol And Sleeping Pills' To Get High

Premier League footballers are reportedly risking their lives with potentially deadly combination.

Alex Reid

Alex Reid

A new report has claimed that Premier League players - including three England internationals - are regularly using sleeping pills and alcohol to get high.

It's a potentially lethal combination, and the problem is apparently growing at a "terrifying rate".

The report comes after news broke in February that an unnamed England star was mixing Zopiclone, a drug used to treat amnesia, with vodka at parties. However the issue actually involves a far greater number of players, according to The Sun's investigation.

The newspaper claims that players are endangering their long-term health and their football careers by mixing "sleeper" pills such as Zopiclone and Zolpidem with alcohol.

Part of the issue is that players are able to get around anti-doping tests as sleeping pills are only a Class C drug and don't appear on the banned substance list. Yet mixing them with alcohol is incredibly dangerous.

The three England players allegedly involved are not named by the newspaper, but one is reportedly among the most talented footballers of his generation. However the impact of the pills and alcohol - vodka and champagne - have begun to negatively impact his displays in training.

The second player is reportedly an experienced professional, while the third is a young star tipped to be an England regular of the future (with concerns now growing that this problem could stop him fulfilling his potential).

Speculating without further information over the identity of those involved is both dangerous and damaging. But understandably there is concern that all the Premier League players involved are getting the help they need.

Sporting Chance, the addiction and recovery clinic set up by Arsenal legend Tony Adams, has been contacted by "many, many more players" seeking help during the pandemic.

The charity's chief executive Colin Bland feared this was just the start of the problem, telling The Sun: "There is help there, from us, the Premier League and their clubs, but it's been harder to get the message out because of lockdown. It's created a perfect storm."

Many players are apparently obtaining the pills legally, as footballers often struggle to sleep after evening kick-offs. However Bland explained the dangers of prescription drug abuse.

"Some players will have a habit, where it has become routine," he said. "Others will have an addictive disorder and this is their chosen drug of choice.

"Some will know they have a problem and seek help. But others won't or will insist that they don't have a problem.

"Elite athletes, footballers, are mixing large doses with alcohol for that very reason and it's becoming a growing problem.

"They won't be prescribed them in the quantity they are using, so they often turn to the black market.

"Let's be clear, using prescribed medication beyond its prescribed dose is drug abuse... If that wasn't enough, the boxes of tablets warn against using with alcohol so to mix the two is, again, drug abuse.

"There's no way of getting away from it. It's a murky world that they are occupying."

All imagery: PA Images

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Topics: Premier League, England