The Prevalence of Drugs within the Sports Arena

Drug use and misuse are different terminologies in the world of medicine.  Drug use defines the use of drugs or chemical substances on a patient for the right kind of treatment as well as in the right dosage for the drug.  Drug misuse on the other hand is the aspect of taking drugs without specifically treating a certain ailment but to influence the body functioning to function according to ones expectation for some kind of self benefit which sometimes harms a third party.

 In sports, players are fond of using energy boosting steroids, dope or other influential drugs in order to gain more stamina for the game that they are taking part, to avoid getting tired so that they can gain higher chances to win.  Most sportsmen and ladies are youths and it is important to understand the reasons as to why the youths are engaging widely into drug misuse.  Researches reveal that the majority of drugs abused by sportsmen and ladies include a number of drugs are prohibited in sports, anabolic steroids and stimulants (Yang, Leung, 2008).
Studies show that about 11 of the participants are using drugs that are covered under the doping control Act, about 10 of them are abusing the major metabolite of tetrahydrocannabinol compounds, while cocaine took only 1. The most unfortunate thing is that the drug abusers start abusing the drugs during adolescence, a stage where the most affected parties include those youths who intend to be involved in the elite sporting activities.   They use the ergogenic drug for the purpose of improving their athletic capabilities as well as to change their appearance in the sporting arena.
The rate at which drug abuse in the world of sports is increasing poses a great challenge to sports management today.  It raises concern that 57  of the high school students are involved in the illegal use of growth hormone, the precursor forms of chemical steroids and the ephedrine alkaloids (Mitten, 2002).  The consumers of these drugs are at risk of damaging their health status as well as being subjected to legal prosecutions especially if they are caught during participation in the sports. Positive steps towards the combatment of the drug misuse have been taken to discourage the use.  For example currently, the drug tests are being taken among the high school students who are taking part in formal sporting activities.  More so, there are new regulations on educational programs that aid to teach the young athletes on the side effects of the drugs thus discouraging their use.

The preference of drug misuse in the sporting world today is higher than in the 19th century when the habit crept in to the field.  By 1999, there were about 3 million athletes in the United States of America, who were recorded to have been using steroids.  There is an increased concern for the pediatric sports medicine that the medical therapists should receive more training in relation to the drugs preferred by the young athletes so as to gain control over the misuse of these drugs (Staudohar, 2005).  Emphasis should be laid up on the understanding of the effects of the drugs, physiology, and the legal implications of the drugs in the sporting arena.

The society today has influenced the youths to use these drugs.  Firstly, the role models of athletics plus the displays on the media show that the use of these drugs by the past athletes was a major contributor to their success.  Every youth engaging in sports would like to be a star and win the gold medal regardless of their abilities. Therefore, they end up using the drugs.  Most youths may use these substances just to feel the association to the steroid users, like the baseball players.  Moreover, the young feel challenged if they cannot be stars in the national teams which are emphasizing on the young talented footballers or basketball players.  In order to appear in these national teams, they fight to excel in their high school games if they cannot they use the drugs to manage the challenge and majority of them manage the win after using steroids.  Girls also use the steroids when they want to win exiting scholarship awards to college. This is a temptation resulting from the hard economic times that the world is facing today (Dawkins, Williams, 2006).  In other words, the majority of the abusers are pressurized by societal need for fame, prestige and satisfactory performance.

Anabolic-androgenic steroids are chemical extracts of testosterone hormone which combines which androgens delaying metabolism in the body and making the participant work for long without exhaustion.   There are three benefits associated with the use of the steroids. First is the provision of high levels of energy to the user, with the muscle shape remaining rigid such that the athlete is not worn out easily and finally the steroids give a pleasurable emotional feeling to the athlete making them to desire for intensive training, such that they can train for long hours and as often as they wish.  This kind of energy then gives them an upper hand to compete with fellow athletes and of course out weigh their performance (Mitten, 2002). Steroid can be take as an injection, orally or transdermally.

The adverse effects include the loss of fertility and the damage of the endocrine system of the body.  The hepatic system, the cardiovascular tissues and muscuskeletal systems are not spared from damage by the steroids.  The youths body height is reduced.  The other worst problem is the spread of infections like the HIV, the Hepatitis B and C due to the sharing of needles by the youths to inject the steroids. Growth hormones as used by athletes in the sport arena once consumed leads to the growth of strong bones, protein synthesis increase and lipid catabolism functions which are as a result of the insulin-like growth factor from the hormone.

The growth hormones just promote the first growth of bones and make the muscles weak thus has little assistance to the athletic performance.  Majority of those who use the growth hormones are good users of the steroids to boost their energy reservoir.  It is used in the injectable form.  The adverse effects associated with the growth hormones include the high risk of hyperemotional, premature physeal closure and slipped capital femoral epiphysis.

The use of nutritional supplements in sporting is also prevalent but the parliament had to take the initiative to convert the definition of the supplements.  The redefined dietary supplements include any product which is not tobacco and is designed for supplementing diet.  Dietary supplements may contain substances like vitamins, concentrates, mineral salts, amino acids, botanical components, which are aimed at the improvement of the quality of diet taken by the sportsmanlady (Yang, Leung, 2008).  These can be taken in the form of capsules, liquid supplements, pill and tablets.

The good report is that the supplements are legally allowed but if the athlete is tempted to use contaminated nutritional supplements, they face disqualification procedure at the sports council.  In other words, even if the nutritional supplements are free for use by the athletes, they should be regulated to avoid overdose that could lead to adverse effects rather than benefits for the consumer. The NCAA sports governing organization is very strict against drug abuse in the sports toady (Dawkins, Williams, 2006).  Other substances used include the creatine, ephedrine and precursor forms of steroid.

The fight about drug and substance use in the sporting arena is a never-ending battle that the government and the sports bodies in the U.S and other parts of the world have engaged in. There are two categories of approach on the fight against the use of drugs by the youth. The first is the initiation of strict test procedures for the athletes before engaging in the sporting activities and the formulation of the rules that govern sports direction today.  The second approach is the undertaking of the sports educational initiatives (Staudohar, 2005). The most common rule is that no direct distribution of supplements to the teams.  This rule discourages the distribution of illegal drugs to the teams.

In summary, the NCAA takes very serious measures on the student athletes in colleges who are found using the drugs and this includes disqualification and subjecting them to the law against drug use in the U.S. Despite the strict rules, the youths are just but a great challenge to the sports management staff since they find it hard to get the youth volunteer for any tests on the drug use yet it is not easy to identify the abusers at such an early age.  Companies are also generating new brands of steroids that may not be easily tested immediately after use.  This is more challenging yet there is need to have a neutral sporting ground for all participants so as to be fair in judging their performance.  


Post a Comment