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DRUG ABUSE IN SPORT AND EXERCISE:Stimulants, Depressants

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Sport Psychology(psy407)
VU
Lesson 45
DRUG ABUSE IN SPORT AND EXERCISE
We have learned of athletes who have succumbed to eating disorders for purposes of performance
enhancement. We have also learned of athletes who over train and experience burnout in an effort to
perform at a level higher than that of their competitors. In this lecture we learn of athletes who turn to the
use of drugs in an effort to gain an unfair advantage over their competitors.
There appear to be three fundamental problems associated with the use of drugs to enhance athletic
performance. The first problem has to do with ethics. Because drug use for purposes of performance
enhancement is illegal, it is ethically wrong to take them in an effort to obtain an unfair advantage over the
opposition. Amateur and professional sport organizations publish and continually revise their own list of
banned substances. The second problem has to do with the potentially addictive properties of drugs. Once
an athlete starts taking a drug for performance enhancement purposes, it may be difficult for her to stop
taking them later on. Drugs may be physically and/or psychologically addictive. A third problem is related
to the potentially lethal effects of drugs on the health and well-being of athlete.
Psychophysiological Effects of Certain Banned Substances
Each of the drugs or banned substance that will be mentioned in this brief review has both a hoped-for
benefit (the reason it is taken by the athlete) and a negative consequence. In some cases the negative
consequences are well documented, but in other cases, due to limitations of research, they are not. We will
first address the use and abuse of anabolic steroids because of their widespread use by athletes seeking
greater size, aggressiveness, and strengths.
Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids
Anabolic steroids are hormones that stimulate protein anabolism in the body. Athletes ingest anabolic
steroids because they believe that they are responsible for alterations in body composition that result in
greater size, strength, and power. They have both an anabolic effect (increasing muscular strength and size)
and an androgenic effect (masculinizing) on the user. Research clearly shows that anabolic steroids use is
associated with increased body weight and mass, altered body composition, increased muscle size and
strength, increased blood volume, and increased number of red blood cells.
Negative physiological consequences associated with anabolic steroid use include increased risk of heart
disease, certain cancers, and undesirable sex-specific effects. Many sport psychologists believe that long-
term use of this drug will lead to poor health. Organs that are particularly susceptible to negative
consequences of anabolic steroids abuse are those, such as the kidney or liver.
Stimulants
Stimulants, such as amphetamines and cocaine, increase the rate and work capacity of the central nervous
system, respiratory system, and heart. The neural-stimulating and cardiac-stimulating effects of these drugs
can provide a physiological advantage to the athlete by inhibiting mental and physical fatigue.
Theses drugs are physically and/or psychologically addicting and their use may lead to serious health
problems.
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Sport Psychology(psy407)
VU
Depressants
Depressants, such as barbiturates, sedative-hypnotics, and alcohol, are designed to relieve tension,
depression, and anxiety in the athlete. Theoretically, this could help the fearful and anxious athlete by
providing a steady effect. Theses drugs, however, do not always have the desired effect on the athlete.
Depressants may actually have the effect of reducing inhibition, reducing judgment, and heightening risk-
taking behavior which may in turn result in poor as opposed to superior performance. Theses drugs are also
highly addictive, making it difficult to quit using them without severe withdrawal symptoms.
Other Banned Drugs
Other drugs that have been banned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) include diuretics,
hallucinogens, and beta-adrenergic blockers.
Creatine Use by Athletes
Creatine is a naturally occurring energy-producing substance. It is a food supplement extensively used by
athletes seeking enhanced performance as it is currently not banned by the International Olympic
Committee. Creatine serves as an energy buffer (shield) during periods of intense exercise.
Long-term negative effects on the liver, kidneys, and brain are only beginning to be investigated.
Combating Drug Abuse in Sport
Underreporting is a serious limitation of research involving drug use among athletes. It is even more
difficult to get accurate information from athletes about their coach's direct or indirect role in encouraging
drug use for purposes of performance enhancement.
Two basic approaches to combating drug use in sport are cognitive techniques and behavioral techniques.
Cognitive techniques utilize intellectual and psychological methods to influence behavior and attitude.
Behavioral techniques shape the athlete's environment in ways that will elicit desirable responses and
behaviors from the athlete.
Cognitive Techniques
Using cognitive techniques, the psychologists utilize support groups among the players to encourage drug
abstinence. The psychologist shows concern for athletes, sets limits on unacceptable behavior, develop team
policy, and teaches athletes specific coping skills to deal with the pressure to excel. The psychologists must
be aware of each athlete's mental status, both in and out of the sport environment..
Behavioral techniques
The focus of behavioral techniques is upon teaching athletes alternative ways to enhance performance that
do not include the use of drugs. These alternative to increased performance include teaching motor skills
and strategies that lead to increased performance.
Behavioral techniques that are effective include peer involvement in drug education and drug prevention
efforts. Young athletes are much more likely to take advice from an admired peer than from an adult.
Athletes are much less likely to take drugs for purpose of performance enhancement id they fear detection
through mandatory drug testing.
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Sport Psychology(psy407)
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References
Cox, H. Richard. (2002). Sport Psychology: Concepts and Applications. (Fifth Edition). New York:
McGraw-Hill Companies
Lavallec. D., Kremer, J., Moran, A., & Williams. M. (2004) Sports Psychology: Contemporary Themes. New
York: Palgrave Macmillan Publishers
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Table of Contents:
  1. SPORT PSYCHOLOGY DEFINED:Issue of Certification, The Research Sport Psychologist
  2. SELF-CONFIDENCE AND SPORT PSYCHOLOGY:Successful Performance, Verbal persuasion
  3. SELECTING SELF-TALK STATEMENTS:Skill accusation, Controlling effort
  4. GOAL ORIENTATION:Goal Involvement, Motivational Climate
  5. CAUSAL ATTRIBUTION IN SPORT:Fritz Heiderís Contribution, Other Considerations
  6. CAUSAL ATTRIBUTIONS IN COMPETITIVE SITUATIONS:Locus of Causality
  7. MOTIVATION IN SPORT:Social Factors, Success and Failure, Coachesí Behavior
  8. FLOW: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF OPTIMAL EXPERIENCE, Goal Setting in Sport
  9. PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE GOAL SETTING:Clearly identify time constraints
  10. A TEAM APPROACH TO SETTING GOALS:The Planning Phase, The Meeting Phase
  11. YOUTH SPORT:Distress and anxiety, Coach-Parent Relationships
  12. ATTENTION AND CONCENTRATION IN SPORT:Information Processing, Memory Systems
  13. ATTENTION AND CONCENTRATION IN SPORT:Measuring Attentional Focus
  14. PERSONALITY AND THE ATHLETE:Personality Defined, Psychodynamic Theory
  15. THE MEASUREMENT OF PERSONALITY:Projective Procedures, Structured Questionnaire
  16. PERSONALITY AND THE ATHLETE:Athletic Motivation Inventory, Personality Sport Type
  17. SITUATIONAL FACTORS RELATED TO ANXIETY AND MOOD:Type of Sport
  18. ANXIETY, AROUSAL, AND STRESS RELATIONSHIPS:Emotion and Mood
  19. ANXIETY, AROUSAL, AND STRESS RELATIONSHIPS:The Inverted-U Theory
  20. ALTERNATIVES TO INVERTED-U THEORY:Apterís Reversal Theory
  21. COPING STRATEGIES IN SPORT:Measurement of Coping Skill
  22. RELAXATION STRATEGIES FOR SPORT:Progressive Relaxation, Autogenic Training
  23. AROUSAL ENERGIZING STRATEGIES:Team Energizing Strategies, Fan Support
  24. AROUSAL ENERGIZING STRATEGIES:Precompetition Workout, Individual Goal Setting
  25. IMAGERY:Skill Level of the Athletes, Time Factors and Mental Practice
  26. IMAGERY:Symbolic Learning Theory, Imagery Perspective. Sensory Mode
  27. IMAGERY:Paivioís Two-Dimensional Model, Developing Imagery Skills
  28. THE ROLE OF HYPNOSIS IN SPORT:Defining Hypnosis, Social-Cognitive Theory
  29. THE ROLE OF HYPNOSIS IN SPORT:Achieving the Hypnotic Trance, Hypnotic Phase
  30. PSYCHOLOGICAL SKILLS TRAINING:Psychological Skills Training Program
  31. PSYCHOLOGICAL SKILLS TRAINING:Performance profiling, Performance routines
  32. ETHICS IN SPORT PSYCHOLOGY:Competence, Integrity, Social Responsibility
  33. AGGRESSION AND VIOLENCE IN SPORT:Defining Aggression, Catharsis hypothesis
  34. AGGRESSION AND VIOLENCE IN SPORT:The Catharsis Effect, Fan Violence
  35. AUDIENCE AND CROWD EFFECTS IN SPORTS:Social Facilitation, Crowd Hostility
  36. TEAM COHESION IN SPORT:Measurement of Team Cohesion
  37. TEAM COHESION IN SPORT:Predicting Future Participation, Team Building
  38. LEADERSHIP IN SPORT:Fiedlerís Contingency Theory, Coach-Athlete Compatibility
  39. EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY:Special Populations, Clinical Patients
  40. EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY:Social Interaction Hypothesis, Amine Hypothesis
  41. EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY:The Theory of Planned Behavior, Social Cognitive Theory
  42. EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY:Exercise Addiction, Bulimia Nervosa, Muscle Dysmorphia
  43. BURNOUT IN ATHLETES:Overtraining and Overreaching, Recommended Intervention
  44. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF ATHLETIC INJURIES:Personality Factors, Coping Resources
  45. DRUG ABUSE IN SPORT AND EXERCISE:Stimulants, Depressants