Drug Games and the Olympic Games

What is it about drugs and sports? Even the Olympics, which are supposed to honor the highest ideals of sportsmanship and athletic ability, are not immune.

We keep hearing news reports about Olympic athletes who test positive for drugs. These positive readings are sometimes for old drug tests, such as tests conducted during the 2008 and the 2012 Olympic Games.

I’m sure that we’ll be hearing even more about the Olympics and drugs before, during, and after the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. That’s so sad. We should be celebrating athletes for making positive choices, but so often, we focus on their negative actions.

It’s true that the combination of drugs and Olympics are not new. Olympic athletes have been illegally using steroids and other substances for years. But at what cost?

Some people argue that all Olympics athletes cheat and use such substances. Really? Thousands of Olympic athletes using performance-enhancing drugs is a little hard to believe. The Olympics features countries who can barely afford to support their athletes and send them to the Games. The idea of such places being able to afford such expensive, hard-to-acquire substances seems a little farfetched.

Others will argue that Olympic athletes need to cheat in order to be able to compete. If that’s the case, maybe the International Olympic Committee (IOC) should monitor the athletes better. Olympic athletes don’t just walk off the street to compete—they have to qualify. Maybe the IOC should start vigorously testing these athletes from the moment they qualify and beyond.

Olympic athletes have a choice regarding whether to cheat or not. In the real world, drug addiction is more complex, of course. Even experts debate why people abuse drugs and whether addiction is physical, psychological, or both. Treatment is less complex, however. People abusing drugs can choose whether to seek treatment or not. They also have several options for such treatment.

Now can someone tell me how the Olympics are going to handle the whole Zika thing? Thanks.

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Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance use disorder, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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