Sports May Reduce Risk Of Drug Use in Teens

It is not uncommon for teens to be curious about alcohol and drugs. With media today, teens are constantly being exposed to images of celebrities using drugs or drinking. Drug use in teens can be extremely dangerous for their mental health and wellbeing. As a parent how do you reduce the risks of drug use in teens without being overbearing? A recent article by CNN discussed new research that has found that drug use in teens is less likely to occur for teens who are engaged in sports and exercise.

Drug use in teens is worrisome because it can lead to long-term overuse in adulthood. Research has shown that high schoolers who used drugs are 33 percent more likely to misuse drugs after graduation. Researchers believed that athletes would be at a high risk of drug use in teens because many high-contact sports, such as football and wrestling, can result in injuries where teens need painkillers. Researchers believe that due to this, athletes are at a greater risk of abusing pain medications.

Research on Drug Use in Teens and Sports

Researchers at the University of Michigan looked at data from more than 191,000 eighth and 10th graders who participated in the Monitoring the Future survey conducted from 1997 to 2014. Among the respondents, 53.3 percent reported sports and exercise participation almost every day (highly involved), 38.8 percent reported it once a week (moderately involved), and 7.9 percent had not participated in sports and exercise in the past year (no involvement). The participants were also asked about their drug use. Overall, those who were highly and moderately involved in sports and exercise were less likely to use drugs than those who reported no involvement.

The majority of teens who play sports or exercise do not necessarily participate in high-injury sports. With them being physically active, they may actually be strengthening their bodies to prevent injuries. Young athletes are also more monitored by adults and are less likely to step out of line after school or during the summer because of practices or training.

Researchers believe that the positive effects of sports and exercise may be carried through adulthood, ultimately reducing the risks of drug use in teens as they transition into college.

If your child is struggling with drug use in teens, there are programs available that can help.

Elevations RTC can help

Elevations RTC is a leading residential treatment center for teens, ages 13 to 18, grappling with anxiety, depression, substance use, and other emotional or behavioral issues. As a residential treatment center for teens, we try to go above and beyond other RTC’s by having not only one on-site psychiatrist, but two practitioners who see each student weekly. We also have an academic component that uses an accredited curriculum and licensed/credentialed teachers. With all of this, we strive to give each student the most efficient and beneficial experience possible. 

For more information about Elevations RTC, please call today.