Drug Use In Sports
By Clark Carr
President, Narconon International
Narconon International is justifiably proud of its superb rehabilitation results--75% living stably drug-free, ethical, productive lives one year or longer after graduation. But we and all in the world who are serious about reducing the spread of drug abuse place an even higher value on our drug prevention efforts. Simply compare figures of how many youth and young adults are starting or experimenting with drugs to how many now-addicted drug users are under treatment or actually rehabilitated.
But even in drug education, some people work to undermine the efforts of those of us of good will.
There has been a recent spate of press articles, radio and television media trumpeting the increasing use of steroids or human growth hormones by sports figures at the highest level. This is indeed a serious matter and a trend that must be reversed (with better drug education of athletes and their coaches, by the way!). Insinuated, however, by these stories is a false, very negative idea that there are no more sports heroes, that maybe we should just give up on sport, assume that "they're all drugged, and what difference does it make, anyway?"
It makes a big difference. From the most ancient times, men and women have shown that the individual can rise to great heights of personal physical achievement in sport and athletics. They have been revered by all civilizations. Athletes may be the last real "heroes" that young people can look up to today. Almost every other field of endeavor has been denigrated in the press. But read any newspaper or listen to almost any radio station--it is sport and sports men and women who are all the rage. And well they should be. Sports heroes can and should represent the ideal of physical health, personal concentration and dogged persistence toward future goals. Not just in the Olympics, but in all our favorite sports we still see the finest example of individual achievement. They should be role models which children should admire. We must not let ALL that is best in national and international sport be dragged through the mud because of the actions of a few.
Bob Adams, former NFL player (Steelers and Patriots) and longtime supporter of Narconon® drug education, speaks to this issue:
"Sport with honor, sportsmanship, honesty, and high moral standards have everything to do with true success. Sportsmen must continue to expect it of themselves and each other, and we must not let anyone tell us or our children that we should expect anything less of sport."