Drug tests help athletes form healthy habits

CT asks: Should high school athletes be drug tested and should performance enhancing drugs be accepted in all sports?

Jack Anderson, Sports Editor

Professional athletes are role models. Kids look up to them for their ideals and lifestyle. Forming good habits when athletes are in high school is important, so they don’t fall victims to problems later in life. If they have the chance to play professionally, they are looked upon by millions of kids around the world.

One bad habit that can form in high school is drug use, which is why I believe high school athletes should be able to get drug tested.

First off, performance enhancing drugs are just plain cheating. They give athletes a competitive edge by allowing them to grow faster from their training when compared to other athletes within the sport. This could steal scholarships from athletes who deserve them.

“Use of synthetic human growth hormone among high school students more than doubled over the past year, from 5 to 11 percent, according to a survey released last month by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids,” said U.S. News writer Alexandra Pannoni.

This shows that this is a growing problem within high schools. Doing drug tests will prevent this problem from growing out of control now rather than later when it could become a big one.

Teens who participate in athletics and take drugs may throw away a promising athletic career because of a drug addiction. This can be shown in the former NBA player Chris Herren, who started doing drugs when he was 18 when he experimented with cocaine, though his hard usage of the drug didn’t start until college and the NBA.

“Instead [of playing in the Celtics game], he stood in full uniform outside the Fleet Center in the pouring rain, waiting on a dealer just moments before the game,” reports CNN. “Herren shot heroin into his veins before his mother’s funeral, bailed on his wife and newborn son in the hospital to get drunk and even had to be brought back to life once after an overdose.”

Herren admits that his drug problem ruined his basketball career.

“Addiction is rock bottom,” Herren said. “I had 14 years of rock bottom.”

Athletes can throw away their careers with one drug use as they will get addicted later on, which is why it would be good to drug test them now in high school, to prevent them from throwing away their future later in college or the pros.

Overall, student athletes should be drug tested because performance enhancing drugs are cheating. Student athletes who take drugs could steal scholarships from actual hard-working students, and illegal drugs can throw away promising careers of athletes if they get addicted.

If we don’t enforce good habits now early in their careers, then this will lead to bad habits down the road. Do you really want your kids looking up to an athlete who shoots heroin and uses steroids?