“ Leave the Grass for the Rugby Fields”

May 27 • Analysis, General News, School • 4420 Views • Comments Off on “ Leave the Grass for the Rugby Fields”

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“ Leave the Grass for the field”

“High thoughts, Low results.”

May 11, 2001 a well known South African cricketer was found smoking marajuana during post match celebrations.

You may say “so what, look at what else he achieved.” Yes, he did excel on the cricket field, there were however consequences to his actions including monetary, match suspensions and court cases. You can rationalise and say he was able to party hard and play well, my argument is that he had so much potential and could have been better without all the controversy. Dope can make you feel “high,”euphoric, relaxed……. Are you aware what else dope has to offer?

One of the primary effects of marijuana in humans is disruption of short-term memory. Smoking a joint creates the effect of temporary brain damage. It affects decision making.  An important point to remember is that not everybody’s body responds to substances the same. You may smoke a joint and be okay and your team mate may smoke the same joint and experience psychosis. The other fact is that you don’t know the dope you are buying is pure and what else is in it.

The physical effects of dope include a slow down in reaction time, problems with motor coordination, hand eye coordination and perceptual accuracy are negatively effected. As an athlete you will experience inconsistent performance. Smoking dope can give you the “munchies,” as a result of affecting your metabolism and nutritional intake; and nutrition plays such a huge part in enhancing sports performance. It can also make you feel lethargic, lazy and carefree.

The psychological affects of dope smoking are many and can create anxiety, nervousness, paranoia and panic. All of these emotions are disruptive and counterproductive when trying perform at your best. It can create a feeling of restless and therefore disrupts your sleep patterns, which results in not allowing you to operate optimally. Substance use and disrupted sleep patterns will influence mood stability, and the feeling of being lethargic and unmotivated are not a recipe for success on the sports field. Too much dope smoking can lead to psychological dependence and this could mean relying on dope to relax before a competition or big game, or to help you sleep better. You believe that you can’t do that without your dope.

Typical behavior of dope smokers is to withdraw and isolate and not care about anything, non of these behaviors compliment a sporting lifestyle, especially a team sport.

Treating a dope smoker is difficult, because it takes approximately six weeks for the “fog” to lift and the brain to wake up before you can effectively treat the individual. So the very feeling of being relaxed and “knocked off” is in reality the physical effect that smoking has had on the grey matter of the brain.

Part of my internship was at a psychiatric hospital in Gauteng called Sterkfontein. We worked in ward 11, which included men who suffered from substance induced Schizophrenia and Bipolar mood disorder. The majority of these men had abused marijuana (some short-term and some long term). These are diseases for life and for many of them could have been avoided. Marijuana is not a healthy safe drug and in most cases is the gateway to more serious drugs.

 

by godandscience.org                     

This image “Cannabis User” shows that the grey matter has shrunk, the distance between the brain and the scull is greater and there are larger holes in the grey matter due to cannabis use.

As THC enters the brain, it causes the user to feel euphoric – or – high- by acting on the brain reward system, which is made up of regions that govern the response to pleasurable things like sex and chocolate. THC activates the reward system in the same way that nearly all drugs of abuse do: by stimulating brain cells to release the chemical dopamine.

Smoking marijuana can affect sports performance as it can disrupt coordination and balance by the binding receptors in the cerebellum and bassal ganglia- parts of the brain that regulate balance, posture, coordination, and reaction time. Therefore it will affect both your cognitive as well as athletic performance.

Quantity, quality and frequency play a role in how long dope stays in your stsyem but research as show that it can be detected in your system for up to 90 days after use. Don’t believe that dope is a healhty drug, it is a drug that will numb you, yes, but that is certainly not going to benefit someone trying to reach their maximum potential.

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