Increasing drug use in sports

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Throughout the country athlete’s from High School, College, and even the professional levels are having increased numbers of drug usage incidents in their respected sports.

Several incidents have risen in the media over the past months of athletes being suspended due to drugs usage. With the recent incidents of 45 student athletes at a Washington High School being suspended due to attending various parties over Halloween weekend and doing drugs. Brings up the question of what are we going to do to fix this problem? Or is it even a problem we should be concerned about? Is petty suspensions enough or should we really start to crack down on these athletes to reduce the widespread damage they are doing?

It starts at the top by setting an example, if we are going to change the current standard we will have to start with the professional levels. Every year, the NFL tries to ban the players from using performance-enhancing drugs and illegal substances of any kind, including marijuana. This off-season is no different, and several players have already been suspended by the league. In 2014, the NFL has suspended more than 20 players for violations so far, with some of the biggest names in the game.

Yet the NFL and the National Football League Players Association have reduced the disciplining standards of their athletes. Stating that the penalties were too severe. The appeals process was convoluted, the codes of conduct were too strict, the wrong things were tested for, and the right things weren’t.

Professional athletes are the role models to the lower levels like high school and college athletes. If the professional levels are not seeing the increase of drug usage as a problem that needs to be handled with harsher punishments, then how will we get non-professional athletes to stop doing it?

Understanding that the “work hard, play hard” ethic is erroneous and paramount to reducing the narcotic consumption status quo among students. Considering there are less opportunities to party, consume copious amounts of alcohol, and the increased use of recreational drugs is less frequent, does not mean that there should be higher consumption when available.

Skyline students also have a say in how we could possibly fix this increasingly relevant issue.

“I believe we should begin to suspend players with a three strike system if we ever want to see results.” Said Skyline student Joseph Wong.”

Not all students believe it is a growing problem.

“If the pro’s aren’t going crazy over it why should we?” Said Skyline student Emily Volquez.”