The NFL is looking into using a new type of opioid that might help players with addiction to manage their symptoms of pain, according to multiple sources.
The drug, which is expected to be available in the next two years, would be a first in the NFL.
It is being developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat opioid-induced pain, a condition that has been blamed for up to 60 percent of opioid deaths.
A person can get a drug called fentanyl from a prescription or through other illicit sources, such as prescription pills, said David Schindler, director of medical affairs for the NFL Players Association, in a phone interview.
The NFL is developing a drug for opioid addiction that would be effective and safe for players, he said.
“I’m not sure what it will be, but I think that it’s probably going to be something in the range of what we’re talking about.”
The drug is expected in the coming months, according the sources.
Schindler said he was not sure how the NFL would treat a player who used the drug.
“But it could be very difficult,” he said, adding that it could affect a player’s ability to compete.
The new drug, if it is approved, would have the same effect as morphine, the source said.
The source declined to discuss the details of the development.
An NFL spokeswoman said the league had no comment on the sources’ claims.
The source, who requested anonymity because the drug was under review, said the drug could help players avoid the side effects of opioids such as anxiety and depression.
The sources said that the NFL is studying the drug’s effects on the brain and that the league is “very much looking forward” to getting the drug into the hands of players in the near future.
The league is also evaluating the long-term safety of the drug and how it would be distributed, the sources said.
It is not clear if the league has any plans to distribute the drug nationwide, the two sources said, referring to the United States and Canada.
Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that has become increasingly popular in the past decade as it has become a widely used pain reliever.
Its use has grown in recent years, as fentanyl-related overdoses have soared and heroin has become more widely available.
It can be found in pain medications, such a painkiller called OxyContin, as well as illicit drugs such as cocaine.
Last year, the NFL suspended the team for four games after it suspended three players for testing positive for the drug after testing positive at the end of the 2016 season.
The suspension of players for failing to meet the league’s substance abuse and mental health policies resulted in a $1.8 million fine.
The league later reinstated the players after the NFL had launched a campaign to warn players about fentanyl and the risks of using it.
The news of the new drug comes just weeks after the league voted to make opioid use a non-negotiable part of the league, an action that many experts have questioned.
It also came a month after a series of deadly overdoses involving opioids killed at least 11 people, including at least six who were high on the drugs.
Last month, the league said it was reviewing all its medical staff to make sure they are trained on treating opioid-related pain and overdoses.
The team is also looking at its drug policies to ensure they are working, the officials said.
In a statement, the team said that it “is working diligently to improve the health and safety of our players and our fans.”
The team also noted that it is “working with the NFL to develop the appropriate resources and protocols to ensure the safety and well-being of our team.”
The NFL has not responded to a request for comment on these reports.