The Electronic Sporting League will now carry out anti-doping tests on players following widespread concern about the number of performance-enhancing drugs used by competitors.
Concentration-boosting drugs, most notably Adderall, are feared to be used throughout the rising sport which is starting to rival athletic sports in terms of viewing figures.
What some players may not realise is that, by taking Adderall, they are risking not only a sports-ban, but also hair loss.
Adderall and professional gaming
Adderall is a medication used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. It is an amphetamine-based treatment that stimulates the central nervous system and is delivered in ‘extended release’ capsules. It can be habit-forming and is not recommended for anyone with a number of health conditions or a history of drug abuse or addiction. Continues below
According to Wired UK, professional gamers, including Kory Friesen who recently admitted to taking Adderall during the ESL One Katowice tournament, are said to take it to improve ‘cognition and reaction time’. This is interesting given the medication information advises that it could actually impair the user’s thinking or reactions and precautions should be taken if they are required to do anything which involves them needing to be alert whilst taking Adderall.
“Our rules forbid participating in the tournament while on drugs [but] we don’t have a list of repercussions that we can match to every incident in a straightforward manner,” says the ESL Head of Communications, Anna Rozwandowicz. “Contrary to what [Friesen] says in his interview, taking performance enhancing drugs isn’t ‘how you win’ those tournaments, and it’s counter-productive in the long run. Like in any sport, you win by practicing and working hard.” She also noted that Friesen had also been let go from his team due to poor performance.
Friesen’s admission has shone an anti-doping spotlight on esports, and their new drugs-testing policy has been put in place to combat any Adderall use within the community. A press release issued by the ESL advises they will be working with the World Anti Doping Agency to administer PED skin tests which can the presence of drugs from a swab across the skin. This compulsory drugs testing will come into force from the ESL One Cologne event in August.
Hair loss side effect
In addition to a potential sporting ban, there are many side effects of using Adderall, one of the most common of which is hair loss.
A hair loss condition known as Telogen Effluvium is a fairly typical side-effect of medication and it can present in both men and women. It causes the hair to shed from all over the scalp and leaves the hair looking noticeably thinner.
Telogen Effluvium is a temporary condition, lasting up to 12 months, unless the underlying cause is not dealt with, in which case it may become chronic, lasting a minimum of 12 months. Although the hair will normally start to regrow on its own, there are treatments for Telogen Effluvium available to help speed this process up.
Treating Telogen Effluvium
In order to address this type of hair loss it is necessary to first deal with the underlying cause – in this case, use of Adderall. Anyone using it without the appropriate medical authorisation should obviously stop. For those who are properly prescribed the drug and need to take it on an on-going basis, their hair loss specialist and doctor can work together to devise a suitable course of treatment.
Minoxidil, a treatment that is clinically-proven to treat genetic hair loss but which has also produced promising regrowth results in Belgravia clients with TE, is often effective. This can also be combined with hair growth boosters such as the LaserComb which help to promote regrowth.
Taking a specially-targeted daily dietary supplement, such as Hair Vitalics, can also be beneficial in helping to restore the hair’s health and strength from the inside. All of the hair loss treatments and boosters used in reversing Telogen Effluvium are suitable for use by professional athletes and, as such, eSports competitors should have no doping issues either if they choose to use them.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.