Drug And Alcohol Use By Student Athletes.
The topic that I have chosen is student athletes' use of drugs and alcohol. I'm interested to see if the old theory that student athletes tend to stay away from these things still holds true today. From my own personal experience as a former high school and college football player, I doubt that this is true. I'd also like to find some studies that may compare student athletes to the general student body to see if there is a correlation of usage between these two groups. With the many stories of athletes being arrested for alcohol and drug abuse, I feel this information may be helpful in setting up a drug prevention program at the high school or middle school level. Carr et al. (1990) looked at the frequency of alcohol use, intoxication, and attitudes concerning adolescent alcohol abuse. They found that male high school athletes both use and abuse alcohol more frequently than do non-athletes. Also male non-athletes tend to abstain from alcohol use more than the athletes do. They found no difference in the frequency of use or abuse of alcohol by female athletes and non-athletes. There was also no difference in the frequency of alcohol consumption between male and female athletes. But three fourths of the male athletes reported getting intoxicated when consuming alcohol compared to half of the female athletes. The study by Tricker and Connolly (1997) examined the attitudes of athletes who were at risk for using steroids, amphetamines, cocaine, and marijuana. They found that seventeen percent of the athletes surveyed felt that marijuana use was an acceptable way to cope with the pressures of sport. Also the main reason for athletes abstaining from drug use was their fear of getting caught, rather than personal health risks. Another big influence of athletes using or not using drugs was peer pressure from teammates. Shields' (1998) study looked at the in-season and off-season use of alcohol by high school athletes and also compared it to a similar study done w/ the same population in 1988.