abusing drugs

abusing drugs

How to Tell When an Athlete Is Abusing Drugs

Are you part of an athletic team, such as a college sports team?

As an athlete, you likely want to avoid being around drug abuse. Unfortunately, it exists within athletic teams. If an athlete participates in sports, he or she faces a higher likelihood of substance use.

Fortunately, you have tips to avoid this issue. Keep reading to learn how to tell if an athlete is abusing drugs.

A Loss of Control

When it comes to an athlete abusing drugs, the best indicator of this behavior is a noticeable loss of control in performance. When an athlete has been training and participating in their sport for an extended period of time, their physical and mental performance can decline if they are constantly subjecting their body to certain types of drugs.

Signs might include an athlete suddenly and drastically reducing their performance or showing extreme fatigue during a game or practice. Furthermore, athletes who are abusing drugs may have a reduced concentration span, and their focus and motivation for the sport might decrease.

Engaging in Risk-Taking Behavior

Risky activities include taking illegal drugs, using supplements that are not approved for athletes, and being overly aggressive. Physically, an athlete may appear withdrawn or anxious, have changes in eating habits, or experience heightened levels of energy or euphoria.

Mood-wise, they may become louder, appearing more confident and outgoing than usual. They may also exhibit carelessness in their approach to sports, such as disregarding safety protocols or taking excessive risks.

Acting Secretive

When an athlete is abusing drugs, they may start to keep to themselves and become very secretive. They may stop being upfront and truthful and instead start to lie. They may start to go off and hide in their bedroom or leave for long periods of time without explaining where they are going.

They may also start having frequent mood swings and become hostile or aggressive when questioned about their activities. If the athlete begins to display any of these behaviors, it’s time to have a serious talk with them and discuss their possible drug abuse.

Expressing a Tolerance to a Drug

Behaviors that can be linked to athletes that exhibit signs of tolerance to drugs include having a lack of motivation and appearing anxious or agitated during practice and competition. Most importantly, they may display a pattern of withdrawing from teammates or functions, impaired verbal skills, and show signs of exhaustion/depression.

Consequently, coaches, trainers, and parents should be aware of changes in an athlete’s disposition and behavior. If suspicious, a comprehensive drug test and professional assessment should be conducted.

Continuing to Use Drugs Despite Negative Consequences

One way to tell if an athlete is abusing drugs is to observe their behavior for any changes that may have occurred. They may exhibit inappropriate behaviors, such as lying, stealing, and skipping practices or performances.

Also, they may display physical changes such as rapid weight loss or gain, changes in grooming habits, or extreme exhaustion. In addition, drug abusers may also continue to use drugs despite negative consequences.

Neglecting Responsibilities With School or Work

It is easy to recognize when an athlete is abusing drugs and neglecting responsibilities with school or work. The athlete may miss classes or assignments, fail to turn in homework or appear unfocused on assignments.

In addition, the athlete may start to exhibit behavioral changes, such as lacking motivation, appearing disengaged, and withdrawing from relationships and activities. The athlete may also start to show signs of using drugs, such as being excessively tired, having pale skin, isolating themselves from friends, or having a change in appearance.

Having Relationship Issues

Being in a relationship is one of the most important things in life, and in the world of an athlete, it can make all the difference between a successful career and a failure. When an athlete is having relationship issues, there can be a number of signs that they are using drugs to cope.

They may start to stay up late more often, become isolated from the team, display signs of restlessness, or experience a sudden change in mood. If they are missing training or practice, this is another red flag that something may be wrong.

Showing Changes in Hygiene or Appearance

When an athlete is abusing drugs, changes in hygiene or appearance may be one of the first indications. Alternatively, if the athlete suddenly begins wearing long-sleeved clothing or sunglasses indoors to hide certain features of their face or body, this could be a sign of hidden drug use.

In addition, an athlete may start to appear more exhausted or gaunt or have a sudden lack of energy or enthusiasm. A further sign could be rapid changes in weight, either an excessive amount or a dramatic loss.

Having a Family History of Drug Abuse

It can be difficult to tell, as most athletes attempt to hide their drug abuse. It is important to pay attention to changes in behavior or appearance, including a sudden lack of interest in activities they previously enjoyed, withdrawal from friends and family, and the appearance of disheveled clothing.

It can also be helpful to listen carefully if an athlete starts making excuses for missing practice or performances or acting out of character. Since the side effects of drug abuse can vary, a physical exam may be required to check for sickness or physical signs of substance abuse.

Neglecting Activities the Individual Once Enjoyed, Like Playing Sports

When an athlete begins to neglect activities they once enjoyed and clung to, like playing sports, there is a possibility of drug abuse. When athletes are continuously presented with opportunities, such as free drugs, they can become misguided and look for non-logical alternatives to aid in producing the outcomes they desire.

The athlete may stop attending sports events and practices, resenting their body and lack of focus. They may become argumentative and combative with coaches and teammates and have a difficult time completing simple tasks.

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Explore When an Athlete Is Abusing Drugs

In conclusion, the use of illegal or performance-enhancing drugs in sports can lead to unfair advantages over his/her peers. It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of abusing drugs when it comes to athletes.

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