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Do Athletes Use Cocaine as a Performance Enhancer?

If a basketball player decides to load up on cocaine before a game, will he be able to perform like Michael Jordan or Larry Bird? Is he going to run any faster or dunk more? Unfortunately, anyone attempting this should think twice. If someone thinks that they can use cocaine as a performance enhancer, they need to go back and reflect on this again. Cocaine is a dangerous drug which can easily cause a heart attack or worse.

History has taught that drugs in athletics are a severe and continuing problem. But finding out that one of your players is on cocaine should require immediate attention in getting him/her help. Why? Because it is illegal and it is deadly. Not only is it illegal, but it does not in any way shape or form increase athletic performance. On the contrary, being on cocaine while participating in a big sport could prove to be fatal.

Why Cocaine is Not a Performance Enhancer

In small doses, cocaine is merely just a stimulant and may only increase alertness for about 10 minutes. Any higher dosages, the body begins to act negatively towards the drug. Detrimental effects may include:

  • confusion
  • delirium
  • convulsions
  • bursting blood vessels
  • heart attack.

Also, the player could become more irritant, aggressive and possibly violent. These side-effects should be inhibiting for playing a sport. So any expectations of becoming an all-star while on cocaine can be flushed down the toilet.

Cocaine is a Recreational Drug

Cocaine is an addictive recreational drug, as opposed to being like a steroid or supplement. However, there is a link between professional athletes and drugs in general. Drug addiction among sports athletes tends to correlate with their rise in fame and fortune and their ample amounts of free time. According to an article in the Daily Mail, 60% of sports players are currently using drugs worldwide. If that number is accurate, one could only guess how many are using cocaine as a performance enhancer. Cocaine is considered the lighter of drugs making it an entry drug. It would be easy for a wealthy athlete to obtain cocaine from about anywhere.

Deaths from Cocaine in Sports

Regular cocaine usage will eventually kill anyone, but sports accelerates the process. One of the real serious side effects is that it throws off the body’s temperature. In average temperatures, the body is cooler than normal, and in hot weather, the body can spike into hyperthermia. So in sports, eventually the body will wear out quicker and succumb to sudden death when the heart shuts down. The human body just isn’t meant for that kind of abuse.

In the 1980s, the use of cocaine was at an all time high. Two notable professional sports players, NBA Len Bias and NFL Don Rogers, died suddenly because of using cocaine as a performance enhancer, or at least using cocaine while participating in sports.

Is the Use of Cocaine as a Performance Enhancer Happening?

So to answer the question, “Is cocaine used as a performance enhancer?” Quite simply no; it’s a recreational drug, but it is a popular drug among those who use drugs in athletics. Using stimulants can be very dangerous because athletes’ bodies are already taking abuse while participating in sports without the use of cocaine added to the picture.

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