Drug and alcohol use by Canadian university athletes: a national survey

J Drug Educ. 1996;26(3):275-87. doi: 10.2190/V8KU-CW0L-WAQH-1D3A.


To gauge the extent of drug and alcohol use in Canadian university athletes, we estimated the proportion of Canadian university athletes using social and/or ergogenic drugs through survey methods. A secondary purpose was to examine athletes' perceptions of the value of drug testing and drug education programs. Using a stratified random sampling procedure, 754 student athletes were surveyed in eight different sports from eight universities across Canada. Results showed that 17.7 percent of athletes have used major pain medications over the past twelve months, 3 percent reported use of weight loss products, 0.9 percent reported anabolic steroid use, 16.6 percent reported use of smokeless tobacco products, 94.1 percent reported use of alcohol, 65.2 percent reported use of caffeine products, 0.7 percent reported use of amphetamines, 1.0 percent reported use of barbiturates, 19.8 percent reported use of marijuana or hashish, 5.9 percent reported use of psychedelics and 0.8 percent reported use of cocaine/crack.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Population Surveillance
  • Sports*
  • Students* / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Universities*