A study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs concludes that college athletes who use performance-enhancing substances are at higher risk of alcohol and recreational drug abuse compared to athletes who don’t use such drugs. The study looked at 234 male athletes who admitted to using steroids, stimulants and weight loss supplements and found that those same athletes were more likely to drink heavily and use marijuana, cocaine, and other recreational drugs . Much research has been done on college athletes and performance enhancers, but this study is noteworthy because it’s the first of its kind to look at whether college athletes who take performance enhancers are also more likely to misuse other substances.
High school and college players understandably use the National Football League and the National Basketball Association salaries as the gold standard. Multimillion-dollar contracts make professional sports part of the American Dream. But since the NFL and NBA are the pinnacle, it’s good to add the full range of professional sports leagues when a college player plans his financial future. Former college stars on professional indoor football squads make about $225 per game—with a $25 bonus if the team wins. Outside the NBA, players in the professional developmental league—one step from making a NBA squad—make about $43,000 per year. The college scholarship model may not be so bad for student-athletes after all.