ADA, OK -- Athletes train long and hard to perform at a high level, but experts say "they could lose much of their competive edge," when they use drugs and alcohol. East Central University is sending this message to the public as is takes part in National Recovery Month.
ECU's Brandon Whitten Institute for Addiction and Recovery is hosting nationally recognized speakers this month to focus on treatment for substance abuse for athletes.
The presentation is a chemical health program focusing on substance abuse prevention and intervention with all student-athletes. These events can be emotional, but also provide encouragment to others that suffer from the disease.
"Sometimes it's really uplifting, really hopeful knowing that there are more people stepping out and saying that addiction does affect me. It does affect us all," said Holli Witherington, the Executive Director of the Brandon Whitten Institute, "Sometimes the events are somewhat gut wrenching because you hear some pretty tragic stories of what's happened to those people that weren't able to get help in time."
The program wraps up tomorrow night at the Ataloa Theater, with the first 150 attendees receiving a T-shirt. The event is free and begins at 7 p.m. Event leaders say anyone is welcome to attend.