Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Drug Abuse, Sports
Matthew P. Martens
Drug use and abuse, including alcohol abuse, are considerable public health problems. One societal domain where this problem has received particular attention is in the realm of sports. This attention is due, in part, to numerous alcohol- and drug-related incidents involving well-known sports figures, and the problem encompasses both performance-enhancing and recreational drug use. Scholars have conducted numerous studies on the prevalence rates and reasons for drug abuse among athletes at various competitive levels, although many important questions remain unanswered. Performance-enhancing drugs are substances that give an athlete some type of competitive advantage and are deemed illegal by a sport's governing body or state or federal law. Examples of commonly used performance-enhancing drugs include steroids, human growth hormone, amphetamines, and painkillers. These drugs are generally used to increase strength and speed, provide extra energy for practice and competitions, allow an athlete to train harder and recover more quickly from training, ...