Drug Free Sport Staff Writers

Drug Free Sport Staff Writers

Thursday, May 17, 2012

10 reasons why drugs, alcohol and/or supplements are still an issue in athletics: Marijuana 101

Following up this week on our May 8th 2012 blog titled "10 reasons why drugs, alcohol and/or supplements are still an issue in athletics," we explore our first reason:

           "In a 2009 study, the use of Marijuana amongst NCAA student-athletes had increased by   
            nearly 2 points over a period of 4 years. 22.6 percent of respondents claimed to have used 
            Marijuana within the last 12 months."

This blog is titled Marijuana 101 and can be found on our myPlaybook blog at: http://myplaybook.drugfreesport.com/uncategorized/marijuana-101/

"Tell me and I'll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I'll understand."
-Native American Saying-


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Introducing myPlaybook: Web-Based Drug and Alcohol Education for Student-Athletes

Drug Free Sport has partnered with Prevention Strategies to bring myPlaybook to colleges, universities, and high schools across the US. myPlaybook is a new, web-based, interactive drug and alcohol education program created specifically for student-athletes.


Prevention Strategies is a research company devoted to providing online education products that aim to prevent alcohol and drug-related harm among teens and young adults. With the support of the NCAA, PS created a program specifically for student-athletes. Over 5,000 current student-athletes have already completed myPlaybook, giving PS data showing the program works to change attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors related to alcohol and drug use.

Because of our involvement with drug testing and the NCAA, Drug Free Sport partnered with Prevention Strategies to make myPlaybook available to institutions across the country.

The Program

myPlaybook is an evidence-based program designed to prevent alcohol and other drug related harm. This interactive, web-based program engages students using state-of-the-art instructional design. There are two separate programs for college and high school. The collegiate program was created specifically for student-athletes. The high school program is designed for the general student population and also includes an extra component for those participating in athletics.

Pilot studies have shown that the program works, with student-athletes demonstrating immediate gains in knowledge of NCAA drug testing procedures and banned substances, negative alcohol expectancies, and negative marijuana expectancies. Over 83% of students felt they benefited from taking myPlaybook.

The core program covers:

• NCAA Banned Substances & Drug Testing
• Alcohol
• Marijuana
• Performance Enhancing Drugs/Dietary Supplements
• Tobacco
• Prescription/Over-the-Counter Drugs

Booster sessions are offered for students who have completed the core program. The boosters contain content that is new and applicable to student-athletes along with content that reinforces the core program. The REC will help choose booster topics based on the questions student-athletes are asking the most.

Want to know more?

You can learn more about myPlaybook by visiting the website (click here) or contacting Ryan Carpenter (816-474-8655). You can also Click here to sign up. Drug Free Sport can set you up with a full user account so that you can see the program the same way student-athletes see it or you can choose to receive a one-on-one tour from a DFS staff member and ask questions as you learn about the program.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

10 reasons why drugs, alcohol and/or supplements are still an issue in athletics

1)      In a 2009 study, the use of Marijuana amongst NCAA student-athletes had increased by nearly 2 points over a period of 4 years. 22.6 percent of respondents claimed to have used Marijuana within the last 12 months.
2)      The NCAA reported a 5.6 percent rise in alcohol consumption since 2005, with 83.1 percent of respondents reporting drinking alcohol in the past 12 months.
3)      Nearly 4 percent of NCAA student athletes surveyed had used anabolic steroids, ephedrine or amphetamines at some point in time during their college career and 5 to 12 percent of male high school students had used anabolic steroids by the time they were seniors.
4)      Recent surveys have found that 1 in 9 high school seniors have used synthetic marijuana marketed as “K2” and “Spice” in the past year.
5)      Poison Control Centers operating across the nation have recently reported over 5,500 calls relating to synthetic marijuana as of October 31, 2011 (almost double the number received in all of 2010). There were also 6,138 calls in 2011 regarding exposure to “bath salts”, up from 304 in 2010.
6)      Tobacco use is still considered the #1 preventable cause of death in the U.S., yet during a survey of nearly 20,000 NCAA athletes (since 2005):
a.       Over 8% of male athletes admitted to smoking cigarettes and close to 8% admitted to chewing tobacco in the last 12 months.
b.      Nearly 7% of female athletes admitted to smoking cigarettes and close to 2% admitted to chewing tobacco in the last 12 months.
7)      Recent surveys have found that there are over 30,000 dietary supplements on the market and the industry is generating more than 26.7 billion dollars a year.
8)      Dietary supplements are regulated under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994; under this act, it is up to the manufacturers to ensure the safety and accuracy of the ingredients listed in their dietary supplements before being marketed to the public.
9)      From studies on over 10,000 athletes, 46% of athletes admitted to using dietary supplements.
10)   Several student-athletes have experienced side effects and/or died in the past year due to use of alcohol, drugs and/or dietary supplements.
As data would suggest; drugs, alcohol and/or dietary supplements are still an issue in athletics. As adults and professionals, it is our job to make sure that we are educating our student-athletes and providing them with the tools they need to make healthy decisions when faced with the temptations of using these products and/or drugs. Tools like myPlaybook and the Resource Exchange Center (REC) can give student-athletes a better understanding of the issues surrounding drugs, alcohol and dietary supplements; all of which can help them make more educated decisions on a day-to-day basis. Over the next several weeks, we will explore in depth each of the reasons listed above for why I think the consumption of these products are still an issue in athletics.
What are YOU doing for your student-athletes?
Until next time…

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My first week at Drug Free Sport: Dietary Supplements

Well… My first week at Drug Free Sport was anything but typical. I have been in the Anti-Doping industry for three years now, working primarily with collection protocols, field staff training and athlete testing plans. I have developed a solid foundation in the Anti-Doping movement, but have to admit that I feel like a rookie when it comes to the complex world surrounding dietary supplements, drugs, alcohol and other doping methods in sport.
Barely scratching the surface on information related to the topics presented above now seems like an understatement after a week’s worth of work at Drug Free Sport. For instance, who would have thought that someone could make a dietary supplement out of the back of their car and sell it to consumers like you or I? Wait… What? dietary supplements that I’m putting into MY body could potentially be manufactured in the trunk of a car? According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, dietary supplements are regulated under the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). Under this act, manufacturers of dietary supplements or their ingredients “DO NOT need to register their products with the FDA nor get FDA approval before producing or selling dietary supplements” (FDA, http://www.fda.gov/Food/DietarySupplements/default.htm).
Regardless, these supplement companies or manufactures have to be regulated at some point, right? Well that’s actually correct. These companies must comply with cGMPS, which means “Current Good Manufacturing Practices.” These practices are in place essentially for quality control purposes. They act as a measure to ensure that companies are processing supplements in a consistent manner and meeting standards. Under what the FDA calls the “Final Rule,” supplement manufacturers must adhere to the following conditions (not limited to these conditions):
-          The design and construction of physical plants that facilitate maintenance
-          Cleaning
-          Proper manufacturing operations
-          Quality control procedures
-          Testing final product or incoming and in process materials
-          Handling consumer complaints
-          Maintaining records

The FDA deploys inspectors to ensure these rules are being followed, but on average, only about 5 inspections take place during a given month. Just go to your local supplement store and see how many different supplements and manufacturing companies there on the shelves; 5 inspections a month doesn’t even make a dent!
Taking this into consideration, how could a supplement that I put into MY body be created in the back of a trunk? Dietary supplements do not have to be approved, show effectiveness or be proven safe before being marketed, as long as they avoid health claims and ingredients that are not GRAS (I also, learned that this means Generally Recognized As Safe).
The point is that dietary supplements are under-regulated and in some cases, we have no idea where these dietary supplements and their ingredients are coming from. I would recommend watching this clip from Dateline’s Chris Hanson on dietary supplements:
It’s only been one week and I could go on and on about some of the things that I’ve learned thus far. If there is one thing to take away from my first week with Drug Free Sport, it’s that no matter how much I’ve learned in my three years of Anti-Doping experience, it’s not enough and every day brings new surprises!
Until next time!