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Drugs and Your Performance as a Student and Athlete

Millions of boys and girls are engaged in healthy sports activities. Some will become professional athletes or the Olympic champions of tomorrow. Do you ever wonder what makes these "superstars"? What gives them the edge over everyone else?

Answer: Have a healthy mind and body. Stay away from drugs!!!

No. 1 KILLER: Cigarettes and Smoking!
  • Smoking is the number one killer drug and is directly related to the death of almost 400,000 people every year!
  • Every day more than 3,000 teenagers start smoking.
  • After age 20, every pack of cigarettes can shorten your life by 137 minutes.
  • Nicotine in cigarettes clogs your blood vessels, shortens your breath and more.
  • Chewing tobacco can give you mouth cancer.

No. 2 KILLER: Alcohol. Wine, Beer, Cocktails, and Wine Coolers!
  • Beware! One can of beer contains as much alcohol as one ounce of hard liquor.
  • One can of beer can affect your reasoning, judgment, breathing and body coordination, and makes you dizzy and fuzzy headed.
  • After one beer you are not as good on the playing field as you could be.
  • After five beers you are intoxicated (drunk) and it takes three and one half days to recover your reflexes and normal brain function.

No. 3 KILLER: The Mixture of Marijuana, Beer and Driving!
  • As kids get older, some are tempted to try marijuana and beer.
  • Do not go for it! It can be deadly! It is the deadliest combination of drug activity for youth today!
  • Beer and marijuana taken together can cause a unexpected drug overdose. Each doubles the effect of the other.
  • One marijuana joint plus one beer is like drinking 3 beers or smoking 3 and 1/2 joints.

  • You have read about some athletes who have used cocaine.
  • Some have died after only using a small amount.
  • Cocaine reduces performance on the field and can be addictive.
  • Once you have become "hooked" on cocaine, it becomes very difficult to stop using it.
  • First time users of cocaine think their performance is greatly improved.
  • Cocaine fools the brain into believing one is doing great. Wrong! Real performance gets worse and worse every time you use it.

  • Use of steroids for performance is popular myth, even though they increase weight and strength.
  • Ben Johnson lost his 100-meter gold Olympic medal after admitting he took steroids.
  • Steroids have many bad effects for young people.
  • Steroids can cause wide mood swings and aggressive behavior, acne and pimples, bone damage, and decrease sex drive.

  • Most commonly used by teenagers who start experimenting with drugs.
  • It is called the "gateway drug" and contains a mind altering substance that stays in the brain one month after smoking one marijuana "joint" cigarette.
  • It can affect your judgement.
  • May lead to other more serious drug usage.
  • The first use of alcohol and illegal drugs can only lead to serious trouble, even death!
  • Diet pills are drugs too, and are very dangerous. Don't be tempted!
By Douglas Talbott, M.D. Dr. Talbott, President of the Talbott Marsh Recovery Campus in Atlanta, Georgia, was given a National Doctors Award by the American Medical Association in 1986 and 1987. He has served as chemical abuse (drugs) advisor to the Atlanta Braves and Falcons.

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