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Drug Abuse on Athletes

There are some athletes who are effected by this and need help. There can be a number of solutions to this problem and everyone seems to have a different opinion and point of view about it. One solution can be to actually reward the athletes with bonuses or benefits who do “not” abuse drugs. Another solution can be stricter punishments for athletes who are caught outside their playing field abusing drugs. A final solution would be for the professional leagues to test all their athletes for drugs to see who is and is not abusing drugs.

Drug abuse by today’s athletes is a major problem, and there must be a solution that society can attempt to help the individual before they do harm on themselves or society. Any drug abuse in general is a bad problem to have as a person. All across the nation, there are people who are affected by this and live horrible lives. Some start using drugs either as a way to get away from a personal problem or to try act “cool” in front of peers. Then, sometimes after minor use, they can become addicted and their whole lives are changed forever (Keup 132-146).

This is a major problem that is affecting athletes and the sports that they play. Today’s athletes are sometimes admired as top individuals in society. Whether this is even true or not, it cannot be overlooked by the way people pay attention to them. People read about them in the papers and magazines. They pay large amounts of money to see them play. They cheer or boo when they do something good or bad. Basically, athletes are looked upon as top individuals. Athletes should understand they are not just normal people and are cherished by many.

Because of this, athletes with drug problems set a bad example for society. However, the fact is, there are some athletes who have problems with drugs. This is especially a problem that affects the youth of society. The youth look up to many of the top athletes in the world. Many young individuals want to grow up and be just like the athletes due to their fame and fortune many have received throughout their athletic careers. If the same athletes that the youth admire abuse drugs, youths will think it is acceptable to also use drugs.

This is definitely not what America should want for its youth to think or emulate themselves because not only would drugs affect them physically, but “the use of drugs by children may be damaging in shaping their attitudes” (Donohoe and Johnson 131). There needs to be a stop in drug use in America. By stopping or controlling the drug abuse in our top individuals in society like athletes, this might also put a stop or at least help to stop drug use in our youth. Athletes are pressured everyday to perform at a higher level and drugs are often an option for them to take to get them where they want to be in their sport.

Many athletes will do anything to get ahead or get that boost they want even if it means risking their health. In one survey that two authors noted, the question to top athletes was that “if they were given an option of taking a drug which would make them an Olympic champion, but which could kill them within a year, would they take it? ” Almost 55% of them said yes (Donohoe and Johnson 125). This really points out that there is a problem with drugs in sports. Society cannot continue having its top professional athletes destroy their bodies just to win a race or lift the most weight.

Drugs used improperly can do serious harm to one’s body and even one’s life. Throughout time, popular and famous individuals have died because of related drug problems. Rock star Jimi Hendrix and actor Chris Farley have died due to a long time drug abuse or overdose. Each one had promising careers that ended due to drugs. This can be used as an example for athletes. If the same people that are using drugs continue to use it, they too might have similar outcomes. Drugs used the wrong way can only hurt one’s body in the long run. Our society should recognize this problem and should somehow try some kind of solution to improve it.

Athletes should realize they should not be around drugs because they can seriously get hurt from it. Common drug abuse among athletes is sometimes different than normal drug abuse. In sports, an athlete often takes higher and higher does levels because they think it will help faster and better. This can throw off one’s whole system in their body. “Cheating will go onto the end of the world, but our job must be as much to expose the health dangers” (Donohoe and Johnson 144). For example, some performance enhancing drugs such as anabolic steroids can cause development of both liver and kidney tumors.

For men, steroids can also cause testicular atrophy and produce feminizing side effects such as a higher voice and enlarged breasts (Wadler and Hainline 65-66). Again, different drugs have different side effects, but each drug if used improperly can cause serious health problems. Because professional athletes are such an elite group of individuals, there must be something that can stop this problem and make the athletes realize that what they are doing is harmful. There has to be a stop to drug abuse and a need to protect these individuals from hurting themselves. Abusing drugs also destroys the fairness in sports.

Drugs that are used to get a step ahead or used unnaturally are unethical. This is cheating their profession. A workplace should be consisted of honest people and the people in it should be fair with each other. No one likes cheaters. Athletes also fall into this category through their sport. Ethics play an important part when talking about this. There needs to be something done to stop athletes from “cheating” their profession. No one likes cheaters rewarded for work they did not do; therefore athletes should not be rewarded for accomplishments in which they had to do something unnaturally to get.

Cheating is unethical and wrong, and it is not fair to others. Awards should not be given to the person who comes up with the best drug; it should be given to the best natural athlete. The International Olympic Committee is strongly against drug use and director of the U. S. Office of National Drug Control Policy says, “Testing is becoming ever more sophisticated, yet athletes seem to be at least one step ahead. We want to stop this. ” (Birchard 42). There are a number of solutions that can be done to stop drug abuse on athletes.

One way that can solve this problem is by actually rewarding people who do “not” abuse drugs. Rather than just punishing a person for the wrong that they did, maybe try rewarding the good people who stay away from it. In effect this could be an incentive to the drug abusers to stop using them. Rewards could include bonus money from the team or league, or extra benefits that only drug free people could receive. This strategy is somewhat similar to what teams are doing to sign free agents. Most of the time the team that offers the biggest signing bonus usually gets the marquee player.

It is also popular to see teams put playing incentives in a players contract to reward them financially for a good statistical season. In a society where players pay close attention to the money that they make, why not have incentives for not using drugs? Players would really think twice about doing drugs if they knew that they can make some easy money if they just simply ignore it. By having this solution work, it makes both sides happy because they are getting what they wanted; teams and leagues are getting rid of drug abusers and athletes are getting paid for it. Though this can sound like a good solution; it is really not practical.

This solution can remind someone of those kindergarten days where they were rewarded for being good in class. Today’s athletes should not be treated like kindergartners. Many athletes are making plenty of money and should not be making more money just for saying no to drugs. It is childish. Besides, where would all this money come from? It would be a total waste if owners paid the players because that would mean they would probably just raise prices on tickets and other marketable items. That would basically mean that the fans are the ones paying for athletes to get off drugs.

Fans should not be the ones paying for athletes to get off drugs especially since most of the athletes make so much more money already. Fans, in most cases, are already paying too much just to attend games. They should not have to pay more just to have the athletes drug free; it is not their responsibility. Stopping the drug abuse on athletes is a important problem that needs help, but just simply giving a player money for not taking drugs is not the way to go. Another solution would be to enforce stiffer punishments for athletes who are caught outside of their playing field with drugs.

For example, if a player was pulled over and arrested for drug possession, they should not only face a tough law punishment, but they should also face a tough punishment from the league that they are in. Most of the top professional leagues such as the National Football League, Major League Baseball, and the National Basketball League do have some kind of drug abuse policy that players must follow, but some can argue that it is not strict enough. Although some are stricter than others, the leagues are trying to slow the drug abuse down.

Just for example, the NBA does not prohibit marijuana in their drug policy and according to some estimates, “as many as 70% of NBA players may be current drug users” (Hoffman and Jennings 54). By having stricter punishments on and off the playing fields, it puts added pressures on the athletes that will make them think twice about abusing drugs. The time is now to ask players to meet the standard that applies to society as a whole. The players would have to realize that if they want to use drugs they will have to pay the price later. Hopefully, they will realize that it is not worth it and avoid drugs and the dangers that come with them.

Not only would it protect the players and their health, it will also strengthen and straighten up the image of the professional league. By having a stricter policy, it helps put a good name behind the league that they are serious about stopping drug abuse. Drugs should not be in the work place and a way to prevent that from happening is by punishing offenders who do abuse drugs. Overall this solution does not sound too bad. First of all, it makes much more sense than the first solution, rewarding drug free athletes, from the stand point that there should be a punishment on the abusers rather than rewarding the people who do not abuse drugs.

Professional sports leagues should show themselves that they have a clean and healthy work place just like many of the workplaces in America. It has been researched that about 70% of full-time American workers are in companies that are drug free (54). Punishing the offenders would send a strong statement that the leagues do not want their employees to abuse drugs. However, there is another side to this. Should there really be someone always looking over the athlete’s shoulders and seeing what they are doing all the time? This cannot really be fair to the athlete who is really as human as all of us.

They should not be watched; they should have the same freedoms like normal people. It is true however that they do live different lives than average citizens with all the money and fortune that many make, but should society scrutinize every mistake they make in their personal life? Maybe this solution of severely punishing athletes who abuse drugs in their personal time is too much and it is an infringement of their freedoms that they have in America. A third solution would be for professional leagues to implement drug testing to their players. This is one of the best and fairest ways to check the top athletes today.

Drug testing is a strong deterrent that can really help to enforce drug abuse. Drug testing can also be used to scare athletes away from drugs and the dangers that come with it. It can solve most of the problems that are associated with drug abuse. By testing the top athletes in the world, it will enable that today’s youth will definitely have some positive figure in society to look up too. Again, society’s youth should not have negative individuals who abuse drugs to look up too. Drug testing athletes and then punishing the violators will help weed out negative individuals who set a bad image for the youth of today.

Drug testing would also protect to make sure that athletes are not harming themselves physically. Since athletes are pressured to perform at higher levels, they are often tempted to try a drug that would help or improve their performance, but at the same time of harming their bodies. Drug testing is a sure way to prevent that from happening because it would deter athletes from taking drugs and getting caught. Drug testing can also protect the fairness in the sport by checking athletes to make sure they are not cheating.

Drugs can ruin the fairness of the sport and destroy the meaning why sports are played. Most of the major companies test their employees to make sure they have a drug free workplace (Jennings and Hoffman 58). The playing field is very similar to the common work place. This should also be cared over to the professional sports field so that all of its employees are drug free too. Compared to the other solutions, this solution is the best to stop drug abuse among professional athletes. Drug testing is a much easier and fairer way to stop drug abuse compared to the first two solutions.

The first solution, the rewarding of players who do “not” use drugs, is definitely not practical and would be much harder to carry out compared to drug testing. In drug testing you can accurately tell which person is abusing drugs and which are not. Rewarding the players who are “thought of” as not using drugs is not as accurate. There could be players who are rewarded, but are actually using drugs. There would have to be a good checking system to make sure they are rewarding the right people. This is why drug testing is much easier to handle and can accurately tell who is and who is not abusing drugs.

Drug testing is also fairer than punishing people who are caught using it in their personal life. Many people argue that by testing for drugs on a person it infringes on that person’s freedom rights. This may be partly true, however there is much more to look at than just the person’s rights. First of all, society has to realize that there is a serious problem with drug abuse and there has to be something done about it. Drug testing on athletes would be much fairer than watching their every move making sure they are not abusing drugs. Making strict punishments on athletes who are caught outside the playing field is also not as accurate.

There can still be some people who are guilty, but just never get caught in public unlike with drug testing it can accurately tell who is and who is not on drugs. That is what the NBA is deciding. They are considering random drug testing to catch even the “recreational user” who usually does not leave as dirty a trail as regular users do (Powell 28). Drug testing can definitely help many of the e problems that are associated with drug abuse by athletes. It can make sure it enhances the role model perception of popular individuals in society to make sure that youths are aspiring to be positive individuals.

Using it as a way to protect athletes from physical harm is another way it helps. It also protects the fairness in sports to make sure awards are not won to the person who comes up with the best drug, but to the best natural athlete. Bob Goldman, an author and competitive athlete in numerous sports during his whole life, writes, “but all of us will suffer since sports have been one of our escapes, a common denominator among men, and the common cement of friendship and brotherhood among social classes, as well as the nations of the world” (18).

This really tells what sports are all about and why they are so important. Drug abuse from the athletes really destroys the spirit of why sports are played. It is a major problem that needs to be stopped somehow. It is unrealistic to think that there will be a perfect solution to this problem that will cure everyone that is involved, but there are solutions that can help diminish the problem. Drug testing for professional athletes is one of the easiest and fairest ways to stop athletes from abusing drugs, and that is why it is the best solution to solve this problem.

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