They say gaming is an addiction, but I tend to believe it is what you want it to be ranging from addiction to entertainment and from a time pass to a professional gaming career.
However, no matter how much we love something it doesn’t warrant that we disregard any negative implication it might bring about on us – that is the rational thinking no matter what the subject matter is.
When I try to apply the aforementioned to gaming – competitive gaming in specific – I find a lot of contradicting practices. Those of you who have been in the eSports community and seen (or been one of) the professional gamers, would agree to the existence of drug use.
When played at a professional level, games like Quake, Counter Strike Global Offensive, Dota 2, StarCraft 2, League of Legends and many others don’t give you the chance to slack even for the fraction of a second. That coupled with the need to excel at what you are doing urges you to do something about your performance and sometimes the desire to excel ends up in the use of drugs like Adderall.
The issue would have been of a much smaller scale in the past, but with the eSports community booming more than ever and competitive gaming becoming the bread and butter for a considerable number of gamers, drug abuse is getting widespread.
Lets take the example of a CS:GO professional from North America who recently revealed that “we are all on adderall.” Among certain WoW communities it was revealed that the use of other amphetamines was in fact encouraged!
For those who do not know, this specific drug is used in the cases of attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, a sleep disorder that causes extreme drowsiness even in the day time. Do consider that these two are actual medical conditions that are quite severe. Now compare that to the use of this drug just to get an upper hand in a game.
Commonly known as smart pills, Ritalin and Modafinal are two other medicines that are being abused on a large scale alongside Adderall.
One argument in favor of those who use the drugs is that you cannot regard it as drug abuse since the use of drugs is not habitual in many cases or that it is not so frequent. While that would be true in some cases, we all know that the advantages of using such drugs are lucrative enough to make you a regular user.
People also advocate the use of these drugs by saying that if we can use pills for things like hair loss then why not use these. In my opinion, nothing is worth wasting your health over even if the take away is in hundreds of thousands of dollars. I think it is never worth it when there are such side effects as nervousness, dizziness, restlessness, headache, stomachache, decreased appetite, troubled sleep, and dry mouth (all of which Adderall has).
Once you get addicted you run a risk of getting depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, alcoholism, benzodiazepine abuse and schizophrenia!
Do note that only if someone actually has ADHD will he not get addicted to such a drug, everyone else who uses it simply for performance enhancement stands a risk of getting addicted and ending up facing withdrawal symptoms sooner than he or she would expect.
It has been medically proven that amphetamines can cause addiction in fact it has also been observed that it leads to further addiction of substances like alcohol and benzodiazepines which are usually taken to take care of the unpleasant after effects.
There are certain rules in place against drug use while taking part in competitive matches but not all of them are enforced the way they should be, and then there are organizers who don’t even have strict enough rules. I think the eSports industry needs stringent rules that should then be enforced in order to curb the use of drugs like it is the case with other sports.
As far as the professional gamers are concerned, the choice is yours in the end you can choose a temporary edge in competitive gaming or you can work for it.