Athletes In Trouble

Athletes In Trouble Do athletes engage in more deviance than non-athletes? In the study of athletes and drugs, one major topic that was discussed was the use of drugs by athletes at all levels. With much controversy dealing with the issue of drug testing in high school, college and professional sports, many people are debating whether or not the use of drugs is a problem in the athletic system. With the problems of drugs appearing in the world of sports, many parents believe that if they place their children into a sport or any other extracurricular activity at an early age they will be spared from the world of drug use and maintain better grades in the long- run. Little do they know that student athletes do get better grades, but are also the students who have a greater chance to use alcohol and drugs. It has been proven that alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana are the leading choice among youths and student athletes in America today (journal of alcohol and drugs education pg.

49). Due to the fact that the drugs mentioned above are probably the most common and easiest to get a hold of, they are also usually the ones that kids try first. Alcohol, despite the increase in education and prevention efforts, remains the drug most widely used by high school students. Peer pressure also plays a large role in the amount of abuse that student do to their bodies. Many athletes try to duplicate what they see on the movies. For example in 1995 a movie The Program came out.

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It was about a football player who everybody loved. He partied drank and still played great when it was time too. The controversy that the movie faced was with a scene in the movie. It was when the main character (quarterback) when out and laid in the middle of the streets to prove that he could handle being under pressure. The first weekend the movie was out a high school student athlete wanted to prove to his mates that he can go out drinking, and still handle the pressure of laying in the middle of a busy street. Well that did not go to well. The student was killed and the movie was pulled out of the theaters and scene was edit out.

A survey taken in 1992, discovered that a 51% of high school seniors claimed that they had consumed an alcohol beverage in the last month(Albrecht, R.R., Anderson, W.A., McGrew, C.A., McKeag, D.B., & Hough, D.O. 1992). A study taken by the same people but among high school athletes in 1988 showed that 83% of high school athletes have tried alcohol at least once in their lives. While a 55% of them admitted to consuming alcohol on regular bases. With the pressure on young athletes by coaches and parents, many athletes in almost every university, high school and junior high feel that they must excel and be the best.

For athletes, success in sports can mean financial scholarships, money towards college, jobs in advertising, and for a few lucky people a job as a professional athlete. To achieve these high statuses and dreams many students turn to the use of performance enhancing drugs, drugs that increase the athletic performance. Athletes are more likely to take drugs that enhance themselves physically and psychologically than those who do not participate in sports. Many of the drugs that athletes choose to use are stimulants such as amphetamines and many other drugs with anabolic effects. Some examples of the substances and their effects are: Amino acids, which stimulate natural production of growth hormones, amphetamines and cocaine which increase strength, alertness, and endurance, caffeine which reduces fatigue and many more.

Many students get started using these drugs with suggestions from coaches and even with the suggestion from a fellow team member. They feel that with this extra boost of drugs in their system, their energy and sports level will improve their game. With the exception of major pain medications, student athletes report obtaining performance-enhancing drugs primarily from sources outside athletic programs, for example from friends, relatives, dealers, or even fans. Athletes who admitted using anabolic steroids within the past year indicated that they received them from athletic trainers at their own schools or places of work from people who they trust (Albrecht, 9). Much possible reasons for college athletes to take socially used drugs is to make them feel better, for social use, and to help deal with college stress both in the fields of academics and athletics. Although the drug abuse in Division I schools has decreased from an 87% to a 79% since 1989, there is still a large room for improvement.

In the other hand an increase appeared to take place in both Division II and Division III. Division III athletes reported the highest percentage of alcohol and marijuana use (compared to division I and II. Figures were not found). They also reported the highest amount of cocaine use. Division II athletes reported a higher percentage of cocaine and crack use.

One main reason for the inconsistency in the figures varying from Divisions could have to do with the fact that a stricter drug testing policy is enforced for those who play Division I. And another reason could be that these athletes might have more to loose then a Division II and Division III athlete. If college student athlete was to fail their drug test, punishment can be very severe. Although sports are the same at every school, the punishment varies from class to class. In Division III and II athletics, athletes are not tested unless they have the opportunity to play in national championships or make the regional. Division I athletes are tested periodically with random testing thrown in occasionally whether in game season or not. Also Division I athletes could have more to loose than a Division III athlete. Division III athletes are not given the chance to receive athletic funds or scholarships.

Without having the chance to receive athletic scholarships students dont have the risk of being dismissed from school for not participating in their sport. In the case of Division I athletes where it becomes more like a job, the students must maintain a certain grade point average, remain physically healthy and attend practices without excuses. If these following guides are not followed students scholarship could be taken away and dismissal from …