Even a custardy glance at media sources, surrounding any major event, would lead you to believe that drug abuse occurs in all sports and at most levels of competition. A sporting athletic life may lead to drug abuse for a number of reasons, including for performance enhancement, to self-treat otherwise untreated mental illness, and to deal with stressors, such as pressure to perform, injuries, physical pain, and retirement from sport.
The belief that doping is only a recent phenomenon that has arisen solely from increasing financial rewards offered to modern day elite athletes is incorrect. In fact, doping is older than organized sports. Ancient Greek Olympic athletes dating back to the third century BC used various brandy and wine concoctions and ate hallucinogenic mushrooms and sesame seeds to enhance performance. Various plants were used to improve speed and endurance, while others were taken to mask pain, allowing injured athletes to continue competing. Yet, even in ancient times, doping was considered unethical. In ancient Greece, for example, identified cheaters were sold into slavery.
The GAA player is not immune to external pressures and to highlight the issue, the GAA are promoting the Substance Use and Performance Information pack, as detailed below.
Awareness and help is also available from the HSE
The Killavullen GAA Healthy Club officer is Helen Cagney - 085 704 1674