Navigation Links
Athletes on performance enhancers more likely to abuse alcohol, other drugs
Date:11/11/2009

College athletes who use performance-enhancing substances may be at heightened risk of misusing alcohol and using recreational drugs as well, according to new research in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

The study, of 234 male athletes at one university, found that those who used performance enhancers -- ranging from steroids to stimulants to weight-loss supplements -- were more likely to admit to heavy drinking and using drugs like marijuana and cocaine.

Moreover, they also had elevated rates of alcohol- and drug-related problems, such as missing classes, failing tests or getting into fights.

The implication is that many athletes are not only experimenting with recreational drugs and alcohol, but suffering consequences as well, says study co-author Dr. Robert J. Pandina, director of the Center of Alcohol Studies at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey.

Until now, it had been unclear whether college athletes who use performance enhancers might have any higher risk of misusing other substances. On one hand, Pandina explained, many athletes might avoid habits that could threaten their performance on the field. On the other, athletes drawn to performance-enhancing substances might have certain traits -- such as a propensity toward "sensation seeking" -- that make the misuse of alcohol or other drugs more likely.

In their study, the researchers, led by Dr. Jennifer F. Buckman, assistant research professor at the Center of Alcohol Studies, found that nearly one third of the athletes acknowledged using a performance-enhancing substance in the past year. The list included banned substances like steroids, creatine, "Andro," stimulants and weight-loss aids.

As a group, athletes who used performance-enhancing substances reported higher rates of drug and alcohol use. Seventy percent said they had used marijuana and one third admitted to cocaine use, versus 22 percent and 3 percent of athletes who did not use performance enhancers. They also had higher rates of smoking, binge drinking and prescription-drug misuse.

The results also hint at some reasons for the elevated rates of drug and alcohol use. Athletes who used performance enhancers were more likely than nonusers to be natural sensation seekers -- a desire to have new and varied experiences -- but they were also more likely to say they used drugs or alcohol specifically to cope with stress and anxiety.

This, Pandina says, suggest that these athletes often see a "utilitarian value" to using recreational drugs. "They are using them to cope with the problems of day-to-day living."

Pandina points out that although many college students are under pressure, athletes -- particularly those at the most competitive schools -- may face additional stress. He adds that while testing athletes for drugs helps, it is not enough by itself; understanding why some turn to drugs is also key.

"This really says that we have to focus on the motivations for athletes' substance use," Pandina says, "and make them aware of the consequences that are likely to come of it."

Future studies, according to Pandina, should look at whether the same patterns are seen among female athletes and those at colleges with less-competitive sports programs. The athletes in this study came from a large, NCAA Division I university, where performance pressure could be particularly high.


'/>"/>

Contact: Stephanie Smith Peeters
snsmith@rci.rutgers.edu
732-445-2518
Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. High Impact Sports Participation May Improve Bone Mineral Density in Mature Athletes
2. Major research collaboration will improve British athletes performance on world stage
3. Preventing Injuries In Firefighters Nationwide is New Research Focus for Top Sports Doc James Andrews, M.D. and Athletes' Performance
4. Preventing Injuries in Firefighters Nationwide is New Research Focus for Top Sports Doc James Andrews, M.D. and Athletes Performance
5. Method to Identify Female Athletes at a High Risk for Knee Injury Discovered
6. UCF Athletes Set Example While Getting Protected Against Flu
7. 12 Local Athletes and Coaches Chosen for U.S. Wheelchair Basketball Team
8. Heel Pain in Youth Athletes: A Warning Sign
9. Testing Young Athletes for Heart Defects May Save Lives
10. Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Now Providing Free Orthopaedic Exams and Assessments on Saturday Mornings to Student Athletes
11. New Injury Rate Statistics for High School Athletes Highlight Need for Increased Prevention Efforts
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... announced its strategic partnership with Connance, a healthcare industry leader providing predictive ... proven, proprietary technology combine to provide health systems, hospitals and ambulatory surgical ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics are proliferating in cancer care, and are ... the eye of the beholder, according to experts who offered insights and commentary in ... Managed Care. For the full issue, click here . , For the American ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Cary, North Carolina (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... the release of a new product that was developed to enhance the health of ... harvested for centuries. , The two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts from the American Institutes ... Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. , ... advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. , AIR researchers ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Aliso Viejo, California (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... preset to fit their specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film ... all fully customizable and all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... June 26, 2016 Story ... operating models within the health care industry is causing ... efficiency , Deloitte offers a suite of solutions ... issues impacting efficient cost optimization: labor resource analysis, revenue ... services facilitate better outcomes and better economics ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 ... the addition of the " Global Markets for ... This report focuses on ... updated review, including its applications in various applications. The ... which includes three main industries: pharmaceutical and biotechnology, food ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... to their offering. ... World Market for Companion Diagnostics covers the world market for ... report includes the following: , World IVD ... (N. America, EU, ROW), 2015-2020 , World IVD Companion ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: