A study on young athletes shows that while they may be less likely to smoke or take illegal drugs, their alcohol consumption is increasing.
In a Reuters feature, Yvonne Terry-McElrath, one of the authors of the study from the University of Michigan, suggests that exercise could be a starting point to discourage drug use among teens. Getting kids into sports may not be a total cure for drug addiction, but it could at least make an impact on lowering the statistics of teens who get hooked on drugs. "If we can encourage an enjoyment in general exercise, we may be able to see a lowering of participation in drug use," she says.
The study was done on about 12,000 students. Results yielded show that those who participate in athletic activities or just in simple exercises don’t usually pick drugs or cigarettes, registering only zero to two times of instances in the past year. The times that they drank alcohol in the past year though was put at an average of five instances.
Put into figures, the group who were not into sports reached 38% smoking population and at least 23% who were into pot smoking. Compared to the group who got themselves moving and working out, they only had 25% of cigarette smoking and 17% of pot incidents.
An increase in drinking statistics among athletes can be attributed to group drinking that usually happens when they get together in teams. Drinking becomes a social activity for them, and the pressure to drink after games is always present. Teens who are also on a team would not risk their team’s reputation by taking illicit drugs and sees alcohol as a better alternative.
There are still a lot of factors that need attention in determining causes of teen drinking and drug abuse. Parents are big influencers of their children and need to communicate about drugs openly with them. Those who suspect their kids of abusing drugs should opt for at home drug test kits to instantly screen for substance abuse.The authors admit that their results are just the tip of the iceberg and that a long-term study about the subject is encouraged.