The issue of drug use among athletes

Comments SAN DIEGO -- As Division III officials prepare to reduce the penalty for athletes who test positive for non-performance enhancing drugs Saturday, new data released here Wednesday showed that use of marijuana and other drugs is highest among athletes in that competitive level. The data, presented by National Collegiate Athletic Association researchers here at the group's annual convention, are a preview of findings from two quadrennial surveys of 21, athletes on their drug use and social environments.

The issue of drug use among athletes

Executive Summary August Findings Excessive drinking is down significantly among student-athletes. Alcohol excluded, student-athletes are much less likely to engage in social drug use than other college students. Among student-athletes, self-reported use of social drugs such as tobacco, marijuana and cocaine are much lower than the rates reported in other national studies of college students e.

Self-reported substance use is highest among Division III student-athletes. Across virtually every social drug including alcohol, tobacco and marijuanaDivision III student-athletes reported higher usage rates than seen among student-athletes in Divisions I and II.

In some cases e. Substance use is generally higher among male student-athletes. Although similar percentages of male and female student-athletes report using alcohol, men use other social and ergogenic substances at higher rates than women.

Student-athletes in lacrosse report substance use rates that are notably higher than in other sports. Among women, lacrosse student-athletes reported high usage rates for alcohol, amphetamines, cigarettes, and marijuana.

Nearly one-quarter of student-athletes reported using prescription pain medication. Most student-athletes that reported use had a prescription for the medication. While cigarette use has declined, spit tobacco use has remained relatively high among men within certain sports. The most frequent spit tobacco users between one-third and one-half of sport participants are men in ice hockey, baseball, lacrosse and wrestling.

The issue of drug use among athletes

The ergogenic aids and dietary supplements most commonly reported by men were testosterone boosters, creatine and amino acids. Student-athletes in those four sports plus wrestling were the most common users of amino acids and creatine.

A majority of student-athletes see drug testing as a deterrent. Student-athletes are more likely to support drug testing for professional and Olympic athletes for student-athletes. Approximately 80 percent of student-athletes believe that Olympic and professional athletes should be drug tested, whereas 60 percent believe college student-athletes should be drug tested.

The NCAA has conducted a national substance use survey on a quadrennial basis since However, due to changes in the survey methodology, comparisons with current results are limited primarily to data from the and studies. One to three teams were invited to participate at each NCAA school.

Surveys were administered at each participating institution with the assistance of the Faculty Athletic Representatives. Data were collected anonymously; results cannot be tied to a particular student-athlete or school.Participants tended to report that there was a higher prevalence of drug use among athletes in general compared with athletes in their sport, and these estimates appeared to be influenced by participants’ drug-use history.

Various aspects of athletic life are conducive to drug abuse; in addition to performance enhancement, athletes take drugs (or are given drugs to take) to medicate injuries, and to deal with mental and emotional stress that comes from life on and off the field, track, court, or ring, and even after retirement.

Newly published research reports on the current trends of substance use by high school student athletes and notes an increase in the use of prescription pain medications. In the U.S., alcohol and. Substance Abuse and Performance Enhancing Drugs Among Athletes. Substance abuse and performance-enhancing drugs.

The issue of substance abuse and the use of performance-enhancing drugs has been an issue among world-class athletes and Olympians for decades. Mind, Body and Sport: Substance use and abuse And though alcohol and marijuana are the two most reported recreational drugs student-athletes use, the new illicit drug-use concern is the abuse of prescription stimulants and narcotics.

Given these issues, approaching a student-athlete with a substance-use problem can be difficult. They. Male athletes who continued to use the drug during their competitive season reported more problems with anxiety than those athletes that did not use marijuana during the season.

The study was developed as a step in the direction of understanding the motivation for marijuana use among athletes in order to develop educational and preventive materials to help reduce drug use among this group.

Performance-enhancing drugs: Know the risks - Mayo Clinic