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Aegis Data on Sports Drug Testing: Frequent Testing Deters Usage Among Student Athletes

Over the years, Aegis has crafted or reviewed many substance abuse policies and has found that each and every policy is defined as a deterrent program. How each institution or organization achieves this goal varies, but the data unequivocally suggests that the frequency of drug testing correlates with deterrence.

In 2015, about 1 in 5 young adults aged 18 to 25 (19.8 percent) were current users of marijuana.¹ For this reason, we analyzed the collective data over the past year of the student-athlete population to provide some insight into how drug testing frequency affects positivity rates. We categorized schools based on their sample volume: schools that had less than 500 samples in a school year, between 500-1000 samples, and schools that tested more than 1000 samples. Freqency of testing is defined as collection events once a week or once every two weeks; the number of donors varies from 15 to 40 at each collection. Our findings show that there is a direct correlation between lower positivity rates and more frequent testing. Schools that tested more frequently resulted in a lower percentage of positive tests for marijuana.

1Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2016). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. SMA 16-4984, NSDUH Series H-51). Retrieved from Accessed July 24, 2017.

Aegis Sports Testing statistics from athletes testing positive for Marijuana

Rates of Cocaine Positivity During Last Four Academic Years

In reviewing our data over the last two years, cocaine use in college athletics has doubled. This comes as no surprise since cocaine usage has increased nationally. Thank goodness no catastrophic events have been reported during this period. The effects of cocaine are both mentally and physically addicting; the main concern is the negative effect it has on the heart. It is well-established cocaine causes tachycardia or abnormal arrhythmias. It seems these highly conditioned athletes are playing Russian roulette for a quick high. We know cocaine use leads to an increased amount of dopamine which triggers your brain’s pleasure and reward centers, but it also causes a narrowing of the blood vessels throughout the body which makes the heart work overtime and increases blood pressure. Cocaine stimulates the alpha and beta receptors; this leads to an increase in the force of contraction and also forces the heart to pump more vigorously. Not exactly a good formula when the demands of competition require the heart to perform at maximum efficiency. Our recommendation for any athlete found using cocaine should include a follow up cardiac exam as well as counseling on the dangers of cocaine use.

About Aegis Sciences Corporation
Founded in 1990, Aegis Sciences Corporation is a toxicology laboratory based in Nashville, TN, that specializes in forensic and healthcare services.  Aegis provides science-driven testing and consulting for clients, such as healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies, professional and amateur sports organizations, distinguished college and university athletic programs, Fortune 500 companies, medical examiners, and government agencies throughout the United States. For more information please visit