iStock/Thinkstock(CLEMSON, S.C.) — High school athletes may value their health more than the rest of the general student population but paradoxically, they also tend to use narcotic painkillers more often than teens who don’t participate in extracurricular sports.
That’s according to a study out of Clemson University. Study author Bryan Denham adds that compared to previous surveys, more student athletes are using prescription drugs than in years past.
Denham said that 12 percent of male athletes and eight percent of female athletes admitted to taking painkillers, including morphine and codeine.
In a 2009 poll conducted of nearly 2,300 high school seniors from various sports, sponsored by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, football players were found to be most apt to use illegally-gotten drugs with white athletes abusing painkillers more than blacks or Hispanics.
Denham also warned that “use of narcotic pain relievers may become a habit with some adolescent athletes,” particularly in parts of the country where these narcotics are over-prescribed to adults and then fall into the hands of teens.
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