Athletes Who Use Performance Drugs Likely to Abuse Other Substances

Rutgers University researchers have found that student athletes who use legal and illicit drugs to boost their sports performance also are more likely to drink heavily and use recreational drugs like marijuana and cocaine.

The study of 234 male students at a single university also found that the drug-using athletes were more likely to suffer consequences suck as missing class, getting into fights, and earning poor grades. About one-third of the student-athletes surveyed admitted using performance-enhancing drugs.

Lead researcher Jennifer Buckman of the Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies and colleagues said that athletes may be natural sensation seekers, and many said they used alcohol or other drugs to cope with stress — perhaps partly due to athletic competition.

The study was published in the November 2009 issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

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