In a meta-analysis, Ntoumanis et al. (2014) identified a slightly adapted version of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB, Ajzen, 1991) as the best explanatory model to date for doping-related intentions and behaviors. Although the desire for clean athletes is at the center of efforts, less attention has been paid in research to this group, e.g., in terms of better understanding their clean sport identity or to further protect them from doping (Englar-Carlson et al., 2016; Petróczi et al., 2021). The integration of doping-prevention in elite sport schools as part of the NDPP was only partially successful. The results of the evaluation indicate that the introduction of the NDPP has contributed more to a change in the content of doping prevention activities than to a structural transformation in anti-doping education in elite sport schools. Moreover, while students who did receive additional education in the form of the NDPP“booster sessions” had significantly more knowledge about doping than students who did not receive such education, this difference was only small and may not translate to actual behavior. Taking a closer look at the content, positive doping prevention approaches complement or even replaces measures that rely on repression, punishment, or scary stories.

What are three drug prevention strategies?

  • Information Dissemination.
  • Prevention Education.
  • Alternatives.
  • Problem Identification and Referral.
  • Community-Based Process.
  • Environmental Approach.

There are lots of areas in amateur sports that cannot be controlled by sports organizations (no license need, private sports participation, fitness studios etc.). If we look at the reported motivations for substance use, performance enhancement has less of an effect than do other motivations like pain reduction, recuperation, or mood improvement. In competitive sports, doping is the use of banned athletic performance-enhancing drugs by athletic competitors as a way of cheating. The term doping is widely used by organizations that regulate sporting competitions. The use of drugs to enhance performance is considered unethical, and is prohibited by most international sports organizations, including the International Olympic Committee.

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Knowing the common pitfalls, triggers, and stressors for athletes can help avoid the struggles of drug addiction. However, some argue that some teen athletes experience difficulty balancing their busy schedules which can often lead to feeling depressed or overwhelmed and cause them to lose their drive or turn to bad habits. According to The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, High-stress teens are twice as likely to smoke, drink, get drunk and use illegal drugs. One of the most significant barriers to treatment is the person with addiction not knowing where to turn for help. They may not know what effective treatment looks like, or even that it exists in the first place. Compiling a list of resources, like the one provided on the Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, can help prepare them with the knowledge they need to select a quality addiction treatment program.

how to prevent drug use in sports

However, a mere reference to the frequency of use of a theory should not be used as the sole indicator of benefit in a given context and can potentially lead to distortions in perception, e.g., by frequently using TBP variables as indicators of the effectiveness of an intervention. A look at integrated models and the application of alternate ways to measure efficacy that go beyond self-report might be helpful (e.g., Lazuras, 2016; Petróczi, 2016). It is noticeable that programs for adolescent non-athletes were often placed in the educational context, like school.

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Concerning the intervention, studies were considered that relate to self-contained doping prevention measures or measures aimed at reducing the use of body/performance-enhancing substances or measures that aimed to develop a reflective attitude in this respect. Furthermore, interventions could include a broader spectrum of topics such as literacy (e.g., health or media), self-esteem, or moral/values. Accordingly, studies were not considered eligible if they assessed doping-related variables (e.g., motives for use, attitudes, intention to use) independently of a specific prevention measure or studies dealing with the willingness to participate in a doping prevention measure. In terms of comparisons, studies were considered eligible when contrasting participants with and without a prevention measure or comparing different variants of a measure. Eligibility includes control group designs as well as experimental group-only comparisons as well as qualitative considerations.

  • AS developed the arguments in favour of a harm reduction approach to the control of substance use in sports and prepared the first version of this paper.
  • This statement is the consequence of considering the desire for performance-enhancement as a societal phenomenon and acknowledging the association of athletic success and appearance with strength, competence, social ability, or beauty (Ahmadi and Svedsäter, 2016).
  • These questions about sport-induced self-medication were not specific to any one type of sport, but according to the differentiation between doping and sport induced self-medication (see study’s definiton section), they explicitly excluded the intention to enhance sporting performance.
  • Historically, adolescents abusing AAS may progress to opioid use and abuse later in life, thus developing a drug dependence.[17], [16].
  • Harm reduction approaches will never eliminate use, but they deliver a humane service to a cohort of talented performers who deserve a safe and supportive workplace in which to ply their highly skilled and heavily sought-after trade.

The most important and highly stable social background variable is gender, with female respondents generally showing a lower propensity to dope. This effect was also shown in a special mixed sample of at-risk individuals [9], as well as in studies on doping substances in general among university students [17]. Few studies where the influence of gender was investigated offered no support for this determinant [19] or provided contradictory results [20].

How to Prevent Drug Abuse and Addiction in Sports

In 1998, the entire Festina team were excluded from the Tour de France following the discovery of a team car containing large amounts of various performance-enhancing drugs. The team director later admitted that some of the cyclists were routinely given banned substances. Six other teams pulled out in protest drug use in sports including Dutch team TVM who left the tour still being questioned by the police. The Festina scandal overshadowed cyclist Marco Pantani’s tour win, but he himself later failed a test. The infamous “Pot Belge” or “Belgian mix” has a decades-long history in pro cycling, among both riders and support staff.

Because of that all participants got one question (sport-induced self-medication, lifetime) in minimum and could get up to four RRT questions. Therefore, measuring prohibited substance use prevalence in this sense requires measuring the proportion of athletes who believe they have done something prohibited. This prevalence is an indicator of an openness to transgress between substance categories (i.e., from acceptable to prohibited) that is accepting of doping. Cases where prohibited substance use acceptance exists but has not (yet) led to substance use behaviour due to the absence of necessity or opportunity are known systematic measurement errors, which lead to an underestimation of the prevalence of a doping-tolerant mind-set. Now we turn to studies that additionally identified risk factors for smaller populations or for single substances or substance groups.

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This statement is the consequence of considering the desire for performance-enhancement as a societal phenomenon and acknowledging the association of athletic success and appearance with strength, competence, social ability, or beauty (Ahmadi and Svedsäter, 2016). Informed decision-making can therefore only take place if there is a sound basis, which is built up through targeted educational processes. When considering education in a sport and health context, it is necessary to address the needs and backgrounds of individuals to facilitate effective learning and achieve sustained outcomes. Young people, in particular, show an increased and possibly substance-assisted interest in optimization, both within and outside of competitive sports (Dunn and White, 2011).

Also, make it clear that you expect them not to turn to performance-enhancing drugs, and remind them of the dangers. These substances do not provide any “benefit” inherently, other than potentially allowing an athlete to “unwind” or relax. In the case of marijuana, it can occasionally be prescribed by a doctor for pain management, vision impairment, or other various ailments. It is important for athletes to only use these drugs under the supervision of a licensed practitioner and to only take them as directed.