Whether a high school, college, or professional athlete, drug use is a jeopardous mixture with sports. Due to the physically high demands, drug abuse puts too much at risk. Athletes push themselves and their bodies, already putting themselves at risk for injuries. Professional athletes, especially those in the spotlight, should recognize that they are inspiring figures to many young aspiring athletes. But it is known that many athletes do however subject themselves to drugs, in many cases with performance enhancement drugs such as steroids. There are also the unfortunates that become full blown addicts to substances like crack, alcohol, and meth, destroying their careers and experiencing public humiliation. The high demands of their careers can make using seem like an answer or as practical as training. The reality is that being dependent on drugs is no way of living.
Performance Drug Abuse
When addressing the topic of athletes abusing performance-enhancing drugs, statistics are inaccurate. In sports, performance-enhancing drug abuse is much like the “pink elephant” nobody dares talk about; a blind eye is turned to the issue. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, as well as the Mayo Clinic, agree that many athletes abuse performance-enhancing drugs but were unable to determine a quantity. Athletes and drug abuse should not be tolerated. Prevention, treatment and recovery can dramatically change the abuse in the world of sports.
Commonly Abused Performance Enhancing Drugs
Anabolic Steroids and Androstenedione: A synthetic testosterone, steroids increase strength and muscle mass. When taken as prescribed these drugs can aid in an athletes training and injury recovery. However steroids are far too commonly abused. When taken beyond the recommended dose they risk: liver problems, tumors, and high cholesterol. The psychological impairments include dramatic mood swings of anger, violence and depression.
Stimulants: Athletes gain energy from taking stimulants such as caffeine, cocaine and methamphetamines. Stimulants can mask fatigue but is followed by a crash. Even abusing caffeine puts the athlete at great risk. Side effects of stimulants include increased heart rate that can result in a heart attack, insomnia, weight loss causing muscle deterioration, convulsions, and brain hemorrhages.
Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery of Athletes and Drug Abuse
Early in an athlete’s career, like rising stars of high school basketball and football, education and prevention of drug abuse should be highly influenced. There is something to say about the influence and responsibility that a sports prodigy has. The rise and fall of an athlete’s career can be greatly shortened by the abuse of drugs and alcohol. Prevention and abstinence should be the primary concern for these athletes. Unfortunately many athletes are already in the grips of drug abuse and addiction. Finding treatment and recovery is imperative to their health and career, as well as ending the suffering from addiction.