WXXI AM News

Alcohol and substance abuse affects performance of student athletes

Apr 12, 2018

Credit freeimages.com/Jennifer Marr

Drug and alcohol use among youth and young adults was the topic of a conference hosted by the Finger Lakes Collegiate Task Force at the RIT Inn & Conference Center on Thursday.

The event was attended by parents, school faculty and staff, coaches, and mental health and substance abuse counselors.

One of the speakers was John Underwood, president and founder of the American Athletic Institute, a sport consulting firm.

He said 83 percent of NCAA athletes regularly drink alcohol and close to 30 percent of them use marijuana.

"Here are people who are supposed to have a concern for their health, welfare, and wellbeing so they can perform, and they're using depressive substances that take the total edge off of most of the aspects of performance.

Underwood said it's important to give student athletes the best information about the substances they use so they can make the best choices.

"Most people don't drink before they perform, but they sure do after, and that's at the point of time when your body needs as many of its resources as possible to initiate recovery processes."

Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter attended the conference this morning and talked about the local effects of the opioid crisis.

The Finger Lakes Collegiate Task Force was created in 1989 as a support network for college health professionals, substance abuse treatment providers, prevention providers, and other human services agencies in Monroe, Livingston, Ontario and Yates counties.