How Sports Prevents Drug Use in Teens  

High school students who exercise regularly or play school or recreational sports are less likely than sedentary teens who do not exercise or play sports to smoke cigarettes or abuse marijuana or other illicit drugs (National Institute on Drug Abuse). Many think that participating in teen athletics has no effect on whether or not teens get involved with the illicit use of drugs. Research shows that participation in teen sports actually prevents the use of drugs in teen athletes. Playing sports prevents drug use in teens by helping them keep an organized busy schedule, promoting academic success, and boosting mental and psychological advances.

Playing sports prevents drug use in teens by helping them keep an organized busy schedule. Student-athletes are more likely to have more efficient time management skills. Athletes must learn to balance their time between school, practice, homework and any clubs they may be in. Student-athletes must be able to adapt and keep an open mind during stressful situations.

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However, some argue that some teen athletes experience difficulty balancing their busy schedules which can often lead to feeling depressed or overwhelmed and cause them to lose their drive or turn to bad habits. According to The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, High-stress teens are twice as likely to smoke, drink, get drunk and use illegal drugs.

As a student-athlete, finding the balance between studies, sports, and a social life can be challenging, but not impossible. There are advisors, coaches, and teachers that can help. Sports help teach you to have an attitude towards work that cannot be taught.

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These student-athletes learn through experience. The younger you learn time management, the better it is a skill that is used throughout your life. Playing a sport in high school helps set up positive, healthy habits for the future. Being able to manage your time wisely while playing sports in high school is a hard skill to master also an important one to master. Research shows this fact as shown in this article. “Despite the lack of free time to complete schoolwork, many teachers have found that students who participate in activities after school are better at time management and handling stressful workloads. John Vogel, a teacher, says about some of the people. For example, girls from Burnt Hills schools that he has taught. ‘They’re A students. They don’t have lots of time to hang out at the mall, but they’re popular, have social lives.” As seen being able to manage time is an important part of being a student-athlete.

Playing sports prevents drug use in teens by promoting academic success. Athletics help youth learn dedication, hard work and other core values of success. Participating in a sport gives young adults a reason to work harder in school and apply the lessons they’ve learned on the field. Sports require memorization, repetition and learning these are skill sets that are directly relevant to class work. Also, the determination and goal-setting skills a sport requires can be transferred to the classroom. Lessons learned in athletics, combined with the knowledge that they must do well in school to participate, improves students’ persistence and chances for success. “For the most part there were significant differences among the athlete and non-athlete populations, it showed to be true among all groups analyzed that being an athlete helped them persist.” (Rebecca Achen.) Participating in a sport gives young adults a reason to work harder in school and apply the lessons they’ve learned on the field.

It is argued that teen sports are too time-consuming and leave student-athletes physically and mentally fatigued. A sampling of 409 High school conference athletes found that while they are generally satisfied with their grades they are stressed and time demands from their sports create anxiety and a loss of sleep that hinders academic and athletic performance. The study also concluded that physical exhaustion is a major issue. (CBS Sports) “Sports psychologists are in high demand because parents, coaches, teams, and schools put undue pressure on young athletes to perform well every time they step on the field, court, or track. Remember, they’re children, not professional athletes.” (Marika Lindholm Ph.D.) The early specialization and pressure of sports can sometimes be overwhelming to kids. The fallacy behind youth sports is that children are pressured every time they step on the field. If this is the case it is noxious to a child’s wellbeing.

​It has been scientifically demonstrated time and again that physical exercise is tightly correlated with mental acuity. ​In the right environment, a young boy or girl can really come out of their “shell” and express themselves through sport. Their confidence builds and that can be taken directly into the classroom. A student who is engaged in positive pursuits to be engaged, focused and self-disciplined learn that they need to focus and recognize that they must live disciplined lives. They can still enjoy themselves but they understand that discipline can help lead to achievement and success. “Academics and sports must be properly balanced in order to become a well-rounded person. Sports can help the students relieve their stress and maintain a healthy life, while still focusing on school.”(Sophia Jung.) Sports are a positive outlet for everyday stresses, so it is a constructive way to expel negative energy. To be successful a young adult must learn to balance a schedule of events in order to live a harmonic life.

Playing sports prevents drug use in teens by boosting mental, social, and psychological advances. Youth sports participation enables teens to spend time with friends in a safe environment and obtain social skills that are likely to last a lifetime. Aside from bonding with peers, teen’s learn to solve conflicts effectively, work as a team and learn to be more assertive, all while getting physical fitness. A teenager’s communication skills also are enhanced after playing a sport. (Michigan State University) “It appears that an emphasis on having fun while establishing a balance between physical fitness, psychological well-being, and lifelong lessons for a healthy and active lifestyle is paramount for success.” (US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.) Being active and having fun with a positive group of supporting peers is crucial for a teen’s mental development. Enjoying a healthy active childhood involved in youth sports is beneficial to the future of the participant.

​Controversially, youth sports can put stress on a teen prematurely and can cause serious injuries to the teen’s growing body. With increased teenage participation in sports, an increase in sports-related injuries has been observed, with 2.6 million emergency room visits each year for those aged 5–24 years (US National Library of Medicine.) Children’s and teen bones are weaker than their ligaments and tendons, therefore they are at an increased risk for fractures throughout the bone and growth plate. A mismatch in sports readiness and skill development can lead to anxiety, stress, injury, and ultimately attrition for the young athlete.

Over the last two decades, a noticeable rise in specialization has occurred in youth sports. More young athletes are choosing a single sport to participate in all year round at younger ages, with infrequent breaks and rest. This continued participation concentrated on one sport is believed to increase the risk of sport-related injuries, peer isolation, burnout, psychosocial problems. (Hedstrom R, Gould D.)

Youth who focus on one sport early on are more likely to have a negative experience and are also more prone to injury. Childhood should be balanced between multiple activities that are fun and not stressful to a teen.

​Organized, well-structured youth sports and ongoing physical activities can provide many benefits for teenagers. Positive experiences that sports bring play an important role in the mental and social development in a young person’s life. Watching your hard work pay off and achieving your goals develops self-confidence. Working towards a common goal with a group of players and coaches teaches you how to build teamwork and effectively communicate to solve problems. This experience is helpful when encountering problems at work or at home in the future.

“Sports and recreation should be a fundamental part of children’s lives, despite troubling signs in the youth sports culture. Sport provides a medium for physical activity, developing friendships, and learning developmental skills across all domains. In the current environment of childhood obesity, fostering activity is vital to children’s health and well-being. (Donna L Merkel.)”

The skills learned and memories made during youth sports can help a child later in life and provide positive memories. The healthy lifestyle learned in this point in a kids life is vital to their success as an adult. The united states are replete with positive youth sports leagues and can benefit your child.

Playing sports prevents drug use in teens by helping them keep an organized busy schedule, promoting academic success, and boosting mental and psychological advances. Female high school athletes are 92% less likely to get involved with drugs, 80% less likely to get pregnant, and 3 times more likely to graduate than non-athletes (Women’s Sports Foundation). Teenager’s play sports to have fun, belong to a group and take a break from the stress of everyday life. It allows them to improve their skills and learn new ones, become fit, and find success. Sport is positive for young adults and helps aid with lifelong success.

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How Sports Prevents Drug Use in Teens  . (2022, Jan 10). Retrieved from

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