Study’s show that adolescents age 12 to 17, who use alcohol are more likely to report behavioral problems, especially aggressive, delinquent and criminal behaviors. High school and youth football has become big business; underage drinking and marijuana use has become an epidemic among its players. Unfortunately alcohol & drug use in high school sports is taboo. Every year there are players at the college and professional level arrested, suspended and fined for alcohol and/or drug related offenses, neither the NFL nor NCAA have addressed the problem that begins at the youth and high school level.
In 2014, 11.7% of 8th graders and 35.1% of 12th graders smoked marijuana. Other drugs common among our youth are:
- Prescription and Over-the-Counter Drugs
- MDMA – (Ecstasy-Molly)
Source: National Institution on Drugs
By the time youth reach the eighth grade; nearly 50 percent of adolescents have had at least one drink, and over 20 percent report having been “drunk.” Approximately 20 percent of 8th graders and almost 50 percent of 12th graders have consumed alcohol within the past 30 days. Among 2nd graders, almost 30 percent report drinking on 3 or more occasions per month. Approximately 30 percent of 12th graders engage in heavy episodic drinking, now popularly termed binge drinking that is, having at least five or more drinks on one occasion within the past 2 weeks – and it is estimated that 20 percent do so on more than one occasion. Apart from being illegal, underage drinking poses a high risk to both the individual and society. For example, the rate of alcohol–related traffic crashes is greater for drivers ages 16 to 20 than for drivers age 21 and older. Adolescents also are vulnerable to alcohol–induced brain damage, which could contribute to poor performance at school or work.