Mandatory drug tests for student athletes

Starting on August 15th, 2019, Morton East student-athletes will have a mandatory drug test when participating in any IHSA sports.

There have been growing reports of substance abuse in student-athletes that have prevented them from further participating in the sport(s) they’re doing. Since 2015, about 32.8 percent of high school athletes have used a performance-enhancing drug, which has led to an increase in drug tests going on when participating in a high school sport. However, the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) has made a new rule in its policies that require mandatory drug tests when participating in a sport. This new rule will come into effect on August 15th, 2019, and will be required by every high school in Illinois. In a recent survey conducted at the Morton East campus, 31 out of 50 students said they used drugs, either performance-enhancing or recreational drugs while participating in some type of sport.

“I’ve smoked a few times before my games when I was playing football because I wouldn’t be able to feel the pain when I tackled or got tackled,” an anonymous senior said.

Substance abuse has been more common within seniors in high school in recent years.

“I never really tried drugs out in the years before, but this year I started smoking weed a little bit after wrestling matches because I was tired,” an anonymous senior said.

About 86 percent of high school students reported that they know of someone who uses drugs, and that number will only go up.

“I know a lot of people that do drugs when they’re in a sport, I don’t personally do that because I don’t want to get in trouble,” senior Alexander Velasco said.

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