Playing Football, Hockey in High School Ups Odds for Stimulant Abuse

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by HealthDay.

Taking part in certain sports in high school may lead to misuse of prescription stimulants in the years after graduation, a new study finds.

It reported that high school seniors who play contact sports are 50% more likely to abuse prescription stimulants in their 20s. Seniors who take part in any sport are more likely than those who don’t to abuse these drugs, said lead author Philip Veliz, an associate research professor at the University of Michigan School of Nursing.

Seniors who participate in noncontact sports are less likely to abuse prescription opioids over the next decade but more likely to abuse stimulants than nonathletes, the study found.

For the nationwide study, the researchers collected data on more than 4,770 12th-graders between 2006 and 2017. Students were followed for 10 years.

The investigators looked at contact sports, such as football, ice hockey, lacrosse, and wrestling. They also looked at semi-contact sports, including baseball, basketball, field hockey, and soccer, and noncontact sports such as cross country, gymnastics, swimming, tennis, track, volleyball, and weightlifting.

They found that:

  • In all, 31% of high school seniors misused prescription drugs at least once.
  • Among those in contact sports, 11% of seniors misused prescription stimulants.
  • The rate of misuse rose to 18% when the participants were 20 and 21 years of age.

The findings were published online in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Source: HealthDay

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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