drug abuse with athletes

Drugs and Athletes

Drugs have been a problem in our society for many years. They have been used and

abused by many groups, including professional athletes. It is certainly quite common to hear about

or read about athletes and drug use. Although drugs have a lengthy history of use by

athletes, they have varied effects on the body and different preventions.

Much of the world\'s supply of cocaine is produced in South America. Thousands of years

ago, the ancient Incas of Peru chewed coca leaves because they made it possible for them

to work in the high mountains of the land for longer periods of time. In the 1880\'s Bolivian

soldiers were given the drug to help them gain endurance and overcome fatigue. It wasn\'t until the early years of the 20th century that

cocaine increased in popularity among athletes ("Coca").

Cocaine is a naturally occurring alkaloid, extracted from the leaves of the coca plant. . Eighty thousand tons of coca leaf will eventually produce about 200 tons

of cocaine("Coca").

Marijuana was first smoked as a medicine as early as 2737 B.C.E. in China. Marijuana is a

mixture of leaves, stems, and flowering tops of the hemp plant. The hemp plant has the

highest cannabinoid concentration found in the flowering tops. Marijuana is referred to as

grass, pot, tea, or weed. The hemp plant grows wild through most of the world and can

be cultivated in any area with a hot season. It grows best in central Asia. The main

psychoactive compound in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannibinal, better known as

THC, a strong hallucinogenic that passes from the lungs into the blood and the brain. The

THC content of marijuana has increased eight fold in the last few years and some now

exceed 10 percent. Hash oil may contain 15 to 30 percent THC. Marijuana is by far the

most frequently used illicit drug in the United States(Marijuana).

For performance

enhancement, anabolic-andogenic steroids are today\'s sports drugs of choice. Steroids are

a family of synthetic compounds. . These children were prepped with wind

sprints at six and steroids at 16, the "sport" vanished from sports (Rosellini 52).

Cocaine was first used by doctors in the late 1800\'s as an anesthetic. It was also used

during this time to treat fatigue, alcohol, morphine addiction, impotence, stomach

disorders, asthma, and many other complaints including depression. Despite evidence that

cocaine was habit forming, it was an ingredient in many popular patent medicines, and

until 1903 it was in Coca-Cola. Most countries prohibit its use except for limited medical

purposes. Cocaine is the most reinforcing drug around.

. It is a hardened, very addictive form that may be smoked directly. Cocaine

is very expensive. A single dose may be as little as a quarter of a gram, but it can easily

cost $25 on the street.

There are no currently approved uses for marijuana in the Unites States. However, many

doctors obtain THC from the federal government under special arrangements in order to

prescribe it for cancer patients. THC is effective in reducing the nausea that cancer

patients suffer from. Marijuana may stimulate appetite. Marijuana may be smoked or

taken by mouth. The same dose of THC is about three times as effective when smoked as

when ingested. Marijuana is smoked in the form of a hand-rolled cigarettes, but it is also

smoked in a variety of pipes. After smoking marijuana, the user has a "high," including an

increased sense of well-being, relaxation, and sleepiness. Most users learn to avoid

overdosage by taking only as many inhalations as required to produce the desired "high."

Steroids may have some therapeutic value. The United States Food and Drug

Administration has approved the use of selected steroids for treating specific types of

anemia, some breast cancers, osteoporosis, endometriosis, and hereditary angioedema, a

rare disease involving the swelling of some parts of the body. Steroids are used today by

young people that are in a hurry to reach maturity or by someone that hates his skinny

body. Most of all, steroids are used by athletes to build muscle mass. They also help

muscles to recuperate more quickly from exhaustion or injury. These enable users to train

more frequently and for longer periods of time