The following is a list of substances that are commonly abused, and how they can impact a student-athlete’s performance and eligibility.
Alcohol: Alcohol is a nervous system depressant. At high dosages, effects include mood swings, impaired judgment and inability to control motor functions. Alcohol can impair an athlete’s performance through dehydration, depleting vital nutrients and interfering with restful sleep and recovery.
Tobacco : Tobacco contains nicotine, a stimulant, and a multitude of damaging chemicals. Smoking damages lung tissue and reduces lung capacity. Spit tobacco use contributes to inflammation of soft tissue in the mouth and raises the risk of oral cancer. Tobacco use in all forms is prohibited during practice and competition by student-athletes and game personnel, and may result in ejection from the game.
Marijuana (banned ): Marijuana contains the active ingredient THC. Marijuana use is linked to anxiety and panic reactions, respiratory damage, short-term memory impairment and a decreased focus on goals and personal achievement. Marijuana use is BANNED by the NCAA and can result in loss of eligibility.
Cocaine (banned ): Cocaine is a stimulant that can contribute to agitation, elevated heart rate and increased blood pressure; toxic levels can result in respiratory failure and heart attack. Cocaine is an illegal drug and banned by the NCAA.
Anabolic Steroids (banned ): Anabolic steroids are synthetic versions of the male hormone testosterone. Steroid use changes the body’s hormonal balance, exaggerating male sex characteristics, and can contribute to increased acne, mood swings, secondary sex characteristic changes and violent behavior. Long term heavy use has been implicated in organ damage. All anabolic steroids are BANNED by the NCAA.
Narcotics: Narcotic analgesics (pain killers) block pain and cause sleepiness, and at higher doses affect breathing, heart rate and blood pressure. Narcotics are not banned by the NCAA, but are controlled substances and should be obtained only from qualified medical personnel through a prescription.
Stimulants (banned ): This group of drugs includes a wide variety of chemicals, ranging from caffeine and ephedrine to Ritalin and Adderall (amphetamine). Stimulant abuse can cause anxiety, panic, paranoia and delusions. Stimulant use during exercise can contribute to increased body temperature and dehydration. Stimulants are banned by the NCAA.Last Updated: Sep 13, 2012