The impact of drugs on sportspersons

Theimpact of drugs on sportspersons

Drugshave long-lasting effects on the body and brain of the person usingthem. The prolonged use of drugs compromises judgment, mentalabilities, and physical activities. As a result, the use of drugsimpairs the day to day activities of people using the drugs such assports, academics, everyday decision making, driving a vehicle oreven operating equipment (Streetand Antonio 12). Othernegative effects of drug use include diminishing physical appearance,health and self-drive (motivation). Use of drugs for a long period ordrug abuse impairs judgment which leads to improper decision making,hence reducing intellectual performance in various fields.

Sportspersonsuse a variety of drugs that are classified into four main groups.They include stimulants, depressants, performance enhancers, andhallucinogens. Stimulants aredrugs used to increase attention, alertness, and energy. A well knownand often abused stimulant is cocaine. Sportspersons use stimulants to reduce pain, raise aggression and toincrease reaction. Stimulants, however, are very addictive. Theyincrease the risk of deep injury because of their effect ofsuppressing pain (Streetand Antonio 5).Thiseffect encourages an athlete to continue training or competing evenafter suffering an injury. The side effects of these stimulantsinclude high blood pressure, strokes, liver, and heart failures. Highdoses of some stimulants lead to paranoia and hostility.

Depressantsare drugs that affect the central nervous (CNS) system by slowing itdown. The drugs slow down the central nervous system by suppressingthe nerves in the brain. As a result, an individual’s functioningof the body is affected, such as breathing and heartbeat rate.Depressants have varied effects on different people. Alcohol andmarijuana are good examples of depressants used by sportspersons(Gant 45).

Alcoholhas diverse effects on the body of a sports person. To start with itreverses the benefits gained from exercising. Consuming alcohol aftera competition or practice interferes with the synthesis of proteinsinto the body hence impeding the natural build-up of muscles by thebody. Alcohol content absorbed into the body disrupts the body’swater balance. Alcohol has toxic components that travel through allthe organs in the body system causing dehydration. Dehydration slowsdown the healing process of injured tissues and muscles. The build-upof muscles is dependent on enough sleep (Gant 63). Inconsistent sleeppatterns due to alcohol consumption, also interferes with the growthof muscles necessary for strength in participating in aggressivesports such as rugby.

Consumptionof alcohol leads to poor nutrients intake by the body. Alcohol doesnot have any nutritional value on the body of a human being. To makematters worse, it impedes the intake of vitamins, proteins, mineralsand other nutrients into the body. Despite alcohol containing a lownutritional value, it has a high content of calories. Thishigh-calorie content increases weight gain and makes it hard tomaintain an appropriate weight needed by a sportsperson (&quotForthe Athlete: Alcohol and Performance.&quot Princeton.edu.N.p., 1999. Web. 1 Nov. 2014).

Uptakeof alcohol also hampers learning and retention of new information andideas. The process of synthesizing information by the brain is acomplex process. Most of the memory formation occurs when sleeping.This process does not occur naturally with the intake of alcoholbecause of the interrupted sleep patterns (Thecoaches play book against drugs.“Effects of using drugs.” Web. 26 Nov. 2014).

Mostserious sports persons have the dream of achieving their set outgoals, win their countries medals and become part of professionalteams. The need to achieve these dreams is great and often leads tothe temptation to use performance-enhancing drugs. Sports personstake performance enhancing drugs such boost their performance (Streetand Antonio 1). Examples of these drugs include anabolic agents suchas steroids and testosterone.

Steroidsincrease energy that enables a person to train harder and for a longtime. Athletes use steroids to increase the mass of their muscles. Inaddition to this, steroids assist sports persons in the recovery oftissue and muscle damage that occur during their sporting activities.Steroids also increase the aggressive nature in a person. For thisreason, most people involved in sports that require theaggressiveness take them. Side effects of anabolic agents includecancer, high blood pressure and heart failure. Testosterone alsocauses development of male characteristics in women such as growth ofhair on the chest and development of a deep voice (Street and Antonio9).

Hallucinogensare a type of drugs that cause hallucinations. They cause a personto see, hear and feel things that are not in existence. The drugsaffect the normal functioning of the brain and interfere withcommunication and the ability to focus. They affect both the mood anda person’s state of mind. Hallucinations distort a person’s viewof reality and may cause dissociation with other members of thesociety. This dissociation causes disharmony among sports personsespecially in cases where they are in a team (Wilber 72). Othereffects of hallucinogens include rapid variation in a person’smood, panic attacks and accidents associated with a person’s mood.Hallucinogens cause anxiety, paranoia and fear. Long term drug useeffects include developing mental problems such as psychosis (apsychological disorder where a person loses touch with reality).

Theuse of drugs spoils the fun and competitive nature of sports.Sportsmen who use drugs while competing has the notion that the drugswill improve their performance ant increase their chances of winning(Kindes 260). However, that is not the case. On the contrary, druguse impedes the ability to compete effectively for the top position.In the beginning, the use of drugs will seem to work for theadvantage of the user. The use of drugs gives then unfair advantagein the competitions. As a result, this ruins the concept of fairlyrewarding winners according to their abilities.

Druguse in sports works for the disadvantage of the user. The drugsinterfere with the person’s ability to coordinate actions. Forexample, a basket player will miss a score due to impropercoordination. A player who is using marijuana is unlikely to defendhis team properly because marijuana affects his muscle strength andlung capacity. As a result, the low speed and lack of resilience willrender the player weaker for competition (NSCA Strength andConditioning Journal 12). The performance of the drug usereventually goes down and weakens the team’s performance. In worsecases, circumstances force the person to leave the team.

Individualuse of drugs by a person in a team translates negative effects to thewhole team. A person under the influence may feel detached from theteam due depression caused by the drugs used. Drug use also impedesconcentration while practicing and conducting other activities in ateam. Trust issues may arise as a person using drugs may seemsuspicious in the use of team finances (Wadler 23).

Druguse also negatively influences the commitment of a person to the teamand its activities. Lack of commitment arises when a person fails toshow up for practice due to negative effects of drug use includingdepression, oversleeping or treating injuries. Drugs such as alcoholmay drain a person, others cause individual lack appetite. Theeventual result is that the team player lacks the energy needed tocontribute effectively to team activities, leading to the downfall ofthe team as a whole (ResearchReport Series — Hallucinogens and Dissociative Drugs.” NationalInstitute on Drug Abuse.&nbsp Lastupdated Jan 2014. Web. 25 Nov. 2014).

Ayoung athlete who uses drugs is at risk of encountering some otheradditional problems related to the use of drugs. The drug user is ata higher risk of getting into legal battles with the state. There areconsequences of using drugs such as cocaine and marijuana whencompeting at international levels. The punishment for this offensemay include expulsion from the team or even serving jail terms(Wilber 88).

Athletesrisk being hooked on drugs beyond rescue especially where there isthe use of stimulants that are highly addictive. Driving cars underthe influence of drugs leads to accidents that may cause permanentimpairments and loss of innocent lives. Exercising and practicingwhile one is under the influence of drugs increases the chances ofgetting more injuries. For example, a person going to play basketballwhile drunk can easily lose balance and fall, causing injuries. Theuse of drugs is a trigger for sportspersons to engage in risky sexualbehavior and spread of diseases (Wadler 25).

Useof drugs among young sports persons interfere with the development ofimportant life skills that are essential in stable careerdevelopment. Life skills like conflict management and resolutionbecome alien to drug users because they encounter difficulties incontrolling their nerves. The failure to resolve conflicts comesabout when the side effects of the drugs they are using tend to makethem more irritable and violent. In most cases, they will engage infights, for example, at bars where they take alcohol. Violent fightscan cause serious injuries or conflict with the police (ResearchReport Series — Hallucinogens and Dissociative Drugs.” NationalInstitute on Drug Abuse.&nbspLastupdated Jan 2014. Web. 25 Nov. 2014).

Stressmanagement is another skill that is important to career developmentfor sports persons. Athletes who use drugs have difficulties inmanaging their stress levels. When encountering a stressingsituation, most of these drug users engage more and more in drug use,an act that leads to addiction. It becomes hard for these people tomanage their stress when they are not under the influence of drugs(Thecoaches play book against drugs.“Effects of using drugs.” Web. 26 Nov. 2014).

Sportspersonsneed to set up career goals for their future sporting activities.Those who use drugs lack control of their lives and fail to set goaland accomplish important goals affecting their careers. The drugusers also tend to have poor problem-solving skills because the useof drugs impairs their decision-making processes and judgment (Kindes256).

Theuse of drugs to gain a competitive advantage in sports serves tobring unfair competition. Winning medals and other awards due to druguse amounts to playing foul. Sports persons engaging in the use ofthese drugs should take their time to learn about the numerous sideeffects of the drugs they use. Information should reach all people sothat they can learn the dangers of using the drugs to enhance theirperformance (Thecoaches play book against drugs.“Effects of using drugs.” Web. 26 Nov. 2014).

Workscited

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Wadler,Gary I, and Brian Hainline. Drugsand the Athlete.Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Co, 1989. Print.

Wilber,Ken. TheSpectrum of Consciousness.Wheaton, Illinois: Theosophical Pub. House, 1999. Print.