high school students who used opioids with a prescription were 33 percent more likely to misuse opioids after they had graduated.
NCAA study of collegiate athletes
While athletic activity may serve as a protective element against NPOU and heroin use in adolescent athletes, the trend many not necessary continue into college. A 2013 study conducted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) surveyed athletes from roughly 15 percent of teams within each NCAA sport, for a total of 21,000 college athletes.
According to the results, 23 percent of those surveyed said that they had used prescription painkillers in the past year, while six percent of those surveyed admitted to using opioids without a prescription. When compared to the results of the survey of adolescent athletes, in which only 4.4 percent of reported NPOU, this marks an increase in the abuse rate, albeit not an overly dramatic one.
A healthier lifestyle
While athletes in general might have a predilection toward NPOU, adolescent participation in exercise and sports appears to serve as a protective factor against opioid substance abuse. Researchers have posited that the increased self-esteem or sense of camaraderie that can accompany sports may contribute Despite the increased risk factor associated with the potential for injury, the healthy lifestyle that is encouraged by sports seems to help adolescent athletes avoid higher rates of addiction.