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Sports help prevent drug abuse

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The stress of competition, in combination with a culture where “work hard, play hard” includes getting heavily intoxicated, can quickly lead to addiction to any number of recreational drugs, including alcohol. The percentage of athletes who use drugs is not an easy number to pin down, especially among professional teams. However, significant research on high school and college athletes shows the problem is widespread. Drug abuse in athletes is a significant problem that has many potential underlying causes. The drive to be the best in sport dates to ancient times, as does the use of performance-enhancing substances. With the ever-mounting pressures faced by athletes, it is not surprising that drug abuse by athletes exists across essentially all sports and age groups.

In competitive sports, there is already a fine line between offense-based prevention and general suspicion. Recent developments in this direction (e.g., Englar-Carlson et al., 2016; Petróczi et al., 2021) could make a constructive contribution to athletes in competitive sport contexts and society as a whole and should therefore be given more significant consideration. Within the context of substance use treatment, there are several evidence-based medications and therapy methods that have been found to be effective for these disorders. Out of the present studies, very few have explored therapeutic techniques in athletes. Motivational interviewing (MI), Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and Contingency Management (CM) are implemented to increase motivation to decrease use and ultimately change their behaviors. There is no reason to believe these techniques and variations of such would not be successful in athletes but more studies are needed.

Performance Enhancing Drugs[edit edit source]

One idea would be to give up testing for recreational, non-performance enhancing drugs. Another might be to define the drugs that are most likely to be used in each sport and test only for those. It might also be the case that some sports and countries simply run fewer tests if it can be established that the levels of doping risk are low. While the body naturally produces an anabolic steroid in Testosterone, athletes can use increased levels of naturally occurring hormones to gain a competitive advantage. Taking synthetic testosterone, or another anabolic, can lead to muscle gains and the ability to work out longer while recovering faster.

Substance abuse affects athletes of all ages, and there is hope for young athletes with the help of a strong support system and proper treatment. Addiction Resource is an educational platform for sharing and disseminating information about addiction and substance abuse recovery centers. Addiction Resource is not a healthcare provider, nor does it claim to offer sound medical advice to anyone. Addiction Resource does not drug use in sports favor or support any specific recovery center, nor do we claim to ensure the quality, validity, or effectiveness of any particular treatment center. No one should assume the information provided on Addiction Resource as authoritative and should always defer to the advice and care provided by a medical doctor. Current anti-doping measures rely primarily upon the punishment of athletes who use performance-enhancing drugs.

Famous Athletes With Mental Illness

The blind spots that result here could be addressed through coordinated and collaborative planning, implementation, and evaluation of doping prevention efforts in multidisciplinary teams of scientists and practitioners (see Woolf, 2020). The ISE (World Anti-Doping Agency, 2021) represents a promising step in this direction. Second, the ATLAS program is overrepresented in analyses due to the comparatively large number of publications referencing this approach (e.g., Goldberg et al., 1996b, 2000; Yager et al., 2019). However, this also has the benefit of revealing that the program does not produce consistent results (see Table 4). Third, new issues such as the protection of clean athletes have hardly played a role in the prevention efforts.

  • One study looked at individuals admitted to an inpatient treatment facility for opioid addictions.
  • AA or NA programs have historically been the most common route for individuals to engage in a 12-step program, but there are examples of individual interventions designed to facilitate the 12-step process (e.g., Project MATCH Research Group, 1997).
  • Conversely, rates of use for many other types of drugs are lower among athletes than nonathletes.
  • They may also develop an addiction to stimulant medications such as Ritalin, amphetamines, and illicit drugs like ecstasy and cocaine.

Another cultural aspect of sport that may relate to drinking behavior involves popularity and prestige. Athletes, particularly those who are successful and well-known, are often afforded higher social status than their peers, which can lead to significant social opportunities (Holland & Andre, 1994; Tricker, Cook, & McGuire, 1989). At the adolescent and collegiate level, successful athletes may find that they are regularly invited to social gatherings where alcohol or other drugs are provided. Athletes old enough to go to bars, clubs, and other public establishments may find that other patrons are eager to socialize with them, including purchasing their drinks. Additionally, a club or bar owner may provide free drinks to athletes of a certain stature to encourage their patronage.

Methods to increase oxygen transport

More mental health resources need to be allocated to teams and sports including access to a sports psychiatrist when cases present themselves so there is no gap in treatment. For example, all else being equal, adolescent alcohol use would theoretically be lower in a community that had numerous alcohol-free social activities available that were reinforcing to young people than a community that did not have such alternative activities. Behavioral economic theory also posits that alcohol and drug use will be lower when individuals are orientated toward future rewards incompatible with substance use, such as successful educational and vocational outcomes (Murphy & Dennhardt, 2016). Therefore, environmental interventions that promote such a future-based orientation may result in diminished desire to obtain short-term reinforcement from alcohol and drug use. Another class of interventions involve those designed to teach individuals specific skills and strategies that are used to reduce alcohol and drug use and limit the likelihood of experiencing substance-related problems.

“There is a distinct lack of programmes that use sports and culture as a means to prevent drug abuse and violence,” the group said in a statement. “Kids have to keep their minds and bodies busy in order to prevent problems with drugs and crime,” they added. Due to the heterogeneity of the individual studies concerning design, analysis, and limited statistical parameters, the analysis is carried out on a narrative level. The systematics of the presentation is based on an extraction of the understanding of learning, including implementation and a comparison of the outcomes to be able to conclude the conditions for success.

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