Use and abuse of drugs and alcohol

There have been cases where athletes have either entered desperation or negligence to degrees where they have compromised the sanctity of sport and their own health in the process. Cases such as those in which athletes have chosen to opt for the use of steroids in order to synthetically increase the capacity of their body to perform better in the field are common knowledge. However, there is another aspect that ends up destroying athletes that has implications far beyond those that any steroid can cause.

The implications are those caused by alcohol and drug abuse. The following paragraphs shall shed light on the numerous disadvantages of alcohol and drug abuse by students who are going through college. However, the paper shall give special consideration to the consequences of drug abuse and excessive consumption of alcohol by athletes. The discussion shall build its foundations upon former researches in order to ascertain the credibility of the conclusions reached at the end of the paper and shall expand upon them in the body of the paper.

According to a research performed by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the consequences of college drinking alone are more staggering than one would expect. The study revealed that college drinking is responsible for around fifteen hundred deaths, over five hundred thousand injuries and over seventy thousand sexual assaults or date rapes annually (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2002).

What came as even more worrisome was the fact that not only were drinking rates high in the population of youths ranging from the age of eighteen to twenty four, but were at their peak in communities that comprised of college freshmen, male fraternity and sorority members, and athletes. Even more horrendous are the cases where abuse of alcohol and drugs is kept to a bare minimum by the subject, but the timing is such that the subject is exposed to either situational consequences such as driving or coincidental consequences such as the mixing of the alcohol or drug with a lethal element.

For instance, the death of Major League Baseball pitcher Josh Hancock came as a stunning blow in this regard when he passed away in a car accident while drinking and talking on his cell phone at the same time (DUI Newsroom, 2008). The athlete was intoxicated to a degree that was twice beyond the legal limit when his car crashed into a parked truck that was assisting the victims of another accident. It is essential to highlight at this point that drugs may be a regular part of an athlete’s daily intake.

However, it is the abuse of drugs that causes the athlete to suffer. The fact that one of the consequences of drug abuse is death is well known by almost everyone; yet, the knowledge of this fact does not serve to deter athletes from drug abuse if they can achieve success through it (Susic, 2009). The By hook or by crook mentality encourages them to engage in drug abuse and they eventually reach a point where they become addicted to it.

According to a research performed by the Social Policy Department that analyzed around seven hundred male and over six hundred female students, it was surmised that drug and alcohol abuse prevention programs that focus on consumption at a level that is around the tenth grade when students are beginning to get exposed to negative elements such as there are the most effective of drug and alcohol abuse prevention programs (Hays & Ellickson, 1996).

It was established from this research study that responses received in the form of the actions of the student’s to these programs also served as ideal gradients of measurements to speculate possible deviant behavior in the youth at a later age. We can therefore surmise that it is not the consumption of either drugs or alcohol that is the problem, but the over dosage that is of concern. Over time, numerous bodies have been setup to provide athletes with the support, encouragement and assistance that they need to fight off any desires to engage in the abuse of any one of drug or alcohol abuse.

Abuse of drugs and alcohol causes the subjects and athletes in particular to experience an elevated state only temporarily, after which damage begins to take place and the athlete begins to suffer physical damage that is multidimensional in the fact that it damages not only the athletes health but also serves to destroy the athletes self-confidence because of the fact that the athlete is fully aware of the negative consequences of the excessive consumption of the substance and yet finds himself/herself engaged in it.

The athlete begins to feel an internal form of guilt which persists during the athlete’s demonstrations of physical agility in which the physical damage caused because of the excessive intake of the drug or alcohol. It is at this point that the subject begins to experience social ostracism and is subjected to stereotyping and prejudices by a significant share of his/her society.

In desperation, it is common for the subject to undertake drastic measures that more than often incorporate the enhanced consumption of the drug and/or alcohol that is being abused. For an athlete, it is imperative that he/she remains not only physically fit, but also ensures that his/her academics do not suffer because of his/her interest in sports. Abuse of drugs and alcohol serves to cause damage to both the dimensions of the subject’s life.

The subject finds himself/herself the victim of elements such as missing Class, poor performance on tests and projects resulting in a lower grade point average, engagement in unintentional assault and acquaintance rape leading to fights, DUI, dropping out of school, arrests resulting in the development of a criminal record, academic probation caused by poor mental health, depression and Legal Problems, physical injury, memory loss, social embarrassment, Excessive weight gain or weight loss, arguments, unexplained sexual encounters, sexually transmitted infections, physical injuries, hangovers and blackouts (Wagenaar, 2005).

In light of the negative consequences that the above discussion has highlighted, it does not come as a surprise that educational institutes are implementing measures that discourage the use and consumption of alcohol and other drugs (yic. gov, 2007). Traditional educational programs are being brought together with community based prevention approaches in order to provide the students with not only the knowledge that they need but also the social support and encouragement that they need in order to save themselves from falling into the abuse of drugs and alcohol.

Works Cited

DUI Newsroom. (2008). St.Louis Cardinals’ Pitcher Was DUI at the Time of Fatal Drunken Driving Accident. Retrieved June 2, 2009, from Total DUI: http://www. totaldui. com/news/articles/headlines/josh-hancock-dui. aspx Hays, R. D. , & Ellickson, P. L. (1996). Associations between drug use and deviant behavior in teenagers. Addictive Behaviors , 21 (3), 291-302. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2002, April 9). College Drinking Hazardous to Campus Communities Task Force Calls for Research-Based Prevention Programs. Retrieved June 2, 2009, from NIH News: http://www. niaaa. nih. gov/NewsEvents/NewsReleases/collegedrinking02. htm Susic, P.

(2009, May 28). Substance abuse among athletes . Retrieved June 3, 2009, from Psychtreatment. com: http://www. psychtreatment. com/substance_abuse_among_athletes. htm Wagenaar, A. C. (2005). Effects of Minimum Drinking Age Laws: Review and Analyses of the Literature from 1960 to 2000. Retrieved June 2, 2009, from College Drinking: http://www. collegedrinkingprevention. gov/SupportingResearch/Journal/wagenaar. aspx yic. gov. (2007). Alcohol and Drug Abuse on College Campuses. Retrieved June 3, 2009, from White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans: http://www. yic. gov/drugfree/alcabuse. html

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