- Helps student athletes and their parents understand the impact of alcohol and illegal drugs on their health and the athletic performance.
- Encourages athletes and stakeholders (parents, coaches, administrators, other concerned adults) to review, to evaluate, and to enforce their school district policies and practices regarding alcohol and drug use.
- Motivates school districts to adopt written policies and practices that allow student athletes to learn from past mistakes and understand the importance of not using alcohol and illegal drugs.
According to the New Hampshire School Board Association, “The development of clear, sound and legal policies is critical to the successful operation of any school district… and is among the most fundamental responsibilities of any board of education.” This is especially true of an alcohol and drug prevention policy.
The LoA prevention policy recognizes that abuse of alcohol and other drugs is a treatable health problem. It is a problem that involves violation of the law and can interfere with a student’s academic, physical, emotional, and social development.
Alcohol has been described as a performance impairing drug. Studies also indicate that it has significant detrimental effects:
- Athletes who drink regularly are more than twice as likely to be injured (54%) as non-drinkers (24%).
- It takes 3 – 4 days for athletes to restore B vitamins depleted by alcohol.
- One night of excessive drinking wipes out the impact of two weeks of training.
- Individuals with alcohol dependence have displayed varying degrees of muscle damage and weakness.
- Aerobic performance capacity during a hangover has been shown to decrease by as much as 11%.
- Drinking lowers muscle glycogen and decreases the available fuel for normal aerobic energy production.
LoA seeks to foster an environment that is free from alcohol and other drugs and commits to the health of student athletes. Each stakeholder in the community has a responsibility to contribute to the goals of the prevention program.
I am the Student Assistance Prevention Counselor for our school and it is wonderful to have the Life of an Athlete program. I bring in any sort of drug prevention that makes sense for our students. I …
— Jamie Edge (Student Assistance Prevention Counselor, Inter-Lakes High School )