Should Athletes/Band Members Be Submitted to Bi-Weekly Drug Tests?

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Drug abuse refers to the habitual use of illegal drugs such as marijuana and cocaine. Some may argue that athletes should not have to submit to a bi-weekly drug test because it may not seem to be an on going problem that affects them at the time. However, I disagree. I think that athletes and band members should have to take bi-weekly drug test because many times when athletes are under the influence, they are not in their right mind which affects their mental and physical performance.

Drug abuse is the recurrent use of illegal drugs, or the misuse of prescription over-the-counter drugs with negative consequences. One of these consequences include problems at work, school, home or in interpersonal relationships. Many people do not realize that drugs really do affect the body and mind although a person may not notice it. A few effects of drug abuse are changes in the structure or functioning of the brain, unintentional injuries, weakening of the immune system, increased infections, seizures, impaired decision-making, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and cardiovascular complications. There is much responsibility that comes with being a student athlete and a band member such as maintaining decent grades and also staying in good health mentally and physically. If an athlete or band member is using drugs frequently, then the proper precautions should be taken so that they can stop and let the body and brain recover to prevent any serious injuries and imbecilic decisions.

Not only does it effect the body and brain negatively, it also reflects on the university and coaches/directors because athletes/band members are expected to be role models and represent the university positively especially at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).

The most commonly used drugs on college campuses are marijuana, tobacco and cocaine. At HBCUs, the people who are known to commonly use these substances are primarily band members and athletes. Bi-weekly drug tests should be given to student athletes and band members to keep them in good health and in the right state of mind so that they will be prepared to perform to the best of their abilities and remain in good health. Severe consequences should be given to any athletes/band members who do not pass these test such as fines and suspensions.

College athletics are preparing students to play professionally and if the professionals are not allowed to use drugs then neither should college athletes. Drugs contain chemicals that tap into the brain’s communication system and disrupts the way nerve cells normally send, receive, and process information.  This could cause much confusion amongst student athletes especially on game day and with band members on the day of a performance. Although it could be argued that using drugs such as marijuana helps one focus better and come up with creative ideas, the same focus and creativity can be obtained without smoking marijuana. It can also be said that one is able to have more fun playing their instrument or sport when they are under the influence of drugs. However, if you really love what you do, the drugs shouldn’t have to be a contributing factor in your enjoyment.

Overall, student athletes and band members should be subject to bi-weekly drug test and there should be consequences set in place if one fails the drug test because these students especially should be setting the pace and taking care of their bodies. There is a lot that goes on with the development of an athlete’s body.It is important for student athletes and musicians to be in the right mind frame to perform to the best of their abilities and the only proper way for this to be done is by maintaining sobriety.

Monique Mansfield is a Graduating Senior Broadcast/Mass Communications major from Detroit, Michigan. She will be a staff writer for The Campus Chronicle for the 2016-2017 school year.

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