Student Athletes – The Perils of Recreational and Performance Enhancing Drugs

Student Athletes – The Perils of Recreational and Performance Enhancing Drugs

College is stressful enough, but for student athletes, the pressure to do well in school, coupled with the rigorous demands placed on them by coaches and professors, often leads them to explore ways to cope. Recreational drugs are common on college campuses and are used quite often by students as a way to reduce the stress of their college workload. Although the recreational use of Marijuana is legal in numerous states, its use is not allowed by the NCAA.

Student athletes that test positive for a substance in the street drug class are penalized by being withheld from competition for 50 percent of the season in all sports in which they participate.  A second positive test results in the loss of a year of eligibility. The penalties vary depending on the drug(s) for which an athlete tests positive.

Instant Drug Test 

A student may want to “self-test” if he or she is concerned about testing positive for a street drug.  It is quite easy for anyone to test their urine for a variety of drugs. An over the counter urine drug test such as the EZ Test Cup, 5 and 12 panel drug test cups allow you to test urine for the most common street drugs.  The test is very quick, and the results can be seen in 5 minutes or less.  EZ Test Cups are FDA approved, 99% accurate and can be purchased by anyone.

Test strips are also available which test for just one drug at a time. Drug test strips are available for a large number of drugs and can be purchased inexpensively

Besides recreational drugs, student athletes occasionally turn to performance enhancing drugs. Perhaps the most

eye opening moment for a student athlete is the moment when they start their collegiate life.  For athletes accustomed to being the “star” in high school, the reality of competing against equally talented athletes can be overwhelming. The need to stand out may push a number of athletes to take performance enhancing drugs.

Performance enhancing drugs are banned by the NCAA for the health of the student.  The NCAA website gives students and their families an over view of the drug policy. There are numerous downloadable publications including one that lists banned drugs and another publication to help students understand dietary supplements.

The risk to a student’s health and future as an athlete should be enough to dissuade student athletes from taking performance enhancing drugs. Yet the glamorous life of a professional athlete and the millions of dollars an athlete can earn will undoubtedly lead a number of athletes to use performance enhancing drugs.

Athletes taking drugs will often try to beat the system. The NCAA is aware of this and has measures in place to catch such cheaters. Athletes caught tampering with an NCAA drug test are declared ineligible for further participation in post-season and regular season competition for two years. Athletes who do not show up for, or who refuse to provide a sample, will be penalized as if he or she tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug. Testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug causes the student athlete to lose one full year of eligibility for the first offense. A second positive test for a PED results in the loss of all remaining eligibility.

Student athletes who want to take dietary supplements should be aware that nutritional supplements are not well regulated, and they may be contaminated with banned drugs that are not listed on the label. A contaminated supplement or one in which not all the ingredients are listed, may cause a positive drug test result. As a safety measure, students should only take approved supplements. Due to the severe penalty for taking performance enhancing drugs, student athletes must use extreme caution when taking nutritional supplements

Can high schools test student athletes for drug use? While many high schools have been conducting random drug testing on student athletes for years, many more are just now adding the requirement. However, unlike with the NCAA, each school district is responsible for its own testing guidelines and punishments for those who test positive. The use of drugs of great concern to the NCAA and they commit billions of dollars to the prevention of drug use. The NCAA, which shares drug testing responsibilities with schools, spends more than $6 million a year on drug testing and education.

For more information, visit the NCAA Website. Below is some general information about banned drugs.

The NCAA bans the following classes of drugs:

Stimulants: amphetamine (Adderall); caffeine (guarana); cocaine; ephedrine; methamphetamine; methylphenidate (Ritalin); synephrine (bitter orange); dimethylamylamine (DMAA, methylhexanamine); “bath salts” (mephedrone); Octopamine; hordenine; dimethylbutylamine (DMBA, AMP, 4-amino methylpentane citrate); phenethylamines (PEAs); dimethylhexylamine (DMHA, Octodrine) etc.

Anabolic Agents: Androstenedione; boldenone; clenbuterol; DHEA (7-Keto); epi-trenbolone; testosterone; etiocholanolone; methasterone; methandienone; nandrolone; norandrostenedione; stanozolol; stenbolone; trenbolone; SARMS (ostarine, ligandrol, LGD-4033); etc.

Alcohol and Beta Blockers (banned for rifle only): alcohol; atenolol; metoprolol; nadolol; pindolol; propranolol; timolol; etc.

Diuretics and Other Masking Agents: bumetanide; chlorothiazide; furosemide; hydrochlorothiazide; probenecid; spironolactone (canrenone); triameterene; trichlormethiazide; etc.

Street Drugs: heroin; marijuana; tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); synthetic cannabinoids (e.g., spice, K2, JWH-018, JWH-073

Peptide Hormones and Analogues: growth hormone(hGH); human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG); erythropoietin (EPO); IGF-1 (colostrum); etc.

Anti-estrogens: anastrozole; tamoxifen: formestane; ATD, clomiphene; SERMS (nolvadex); Arimidex; clomid; evista; fulvestrant; aromatase inhibitors (Androst-3,5-dien-7,17-dione), letrozole; etc.

Beta-2 Agonists: bambuterol; formoterol: salbutamol; salmeterol; higenamine; norcoclaurine; etc.

This is not a complete list and the NCAA is quick to point out that “any substance that is chemically related to the class, even if it is not listed as an example, is also banned.”

The information provided is meant to be a guide and not meant to be a substitute for professional advice. Readers are responsible for making their own assessment of the information presented here, and any use of our products based on such information. Contact us today for more information at or call 561-218-4646.