TECHNIQUES IN DRUG AND ALCOHOL EDUCATION
(Tuesday, June 7, 9:30- 11:00 a.m.)
My name is Eve Atkinson, associate athletic director at Temple University and coordinator of Temple's Deter Program, which is our overall drug awareness program. There's a feature article in the Convention magazine about Temple's Deter Program. One of the reasons why our program is so successful is due to the creator of the educational component. That person is Mike Green. In the process of deciding who would be our educational consultant, I interviewed several consultants on drugs and alcohol. It's very important that when you select that consultant, you hear that person speak and see their presentation. I think you will all agree with me after Mike's presentation this morning, that he certainly is the person for the job. I encourage all of you that there are NCAA honorarium funds available. For Division I automatic people, NCAA block grant funds are available for educational consultants in the area of drugs and alcohol.
Mike Green represents a unique resource for drugs and alcohol intervention with student-athletes. His background as an athlete coach and educator gives him a special ability to relate to young athletes and his experience as a recovering alcoholic gives him first-hand knowledge of the dangers of alcohol and drug usage. His goal is to educate and his message of moderation avoids moralization. Mike's programs in the words of one student-athlete, lets you know how to drink responsibly and stresses the athlete's responsibility to be
a peer role model. Mike Green played high school football, basketball and baseball. During his college career at Westchester, he participated in varsity football, weight lifting and track. As a defensive lineman, Mike Green received All-Pennsylvania Conference and Little All-America honors. Mike has coached high school football, baseball and track. He coached collegiate varsity football at the Division II level at Westchester for seven years. A leader in the movement to bring drug and alcohol education to students at all levels, Mike has developed programs for students from pre-school through the college age.
Since its founding four years ago, collegiate consultants on drugs and alcohol has been in the forefrunt in the development of college and drug and alcohol programs making presentations at over 400 colleges nationwide. I was fortunate to be an expert witness with Mike before the United States House of Representatives Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control. Here are some quotes from coaches and how they feel about Mike Green and his presentation. "Mike Green's presentation to our athletes on abuse and alcohol and its consequences was most effective and made a positive impression on our squad." That was from Joe Paterno, head football coach at Penn State University. From Temple University, John Chaney stated that, "Green's presentation is perhaps the best I've ever seen. It has everything; drama, role-playing, etc." The head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers stated, "Mike's energetic, no nonsense presentation was a highlight of the Philadelphia Flyers training camp. The Pele Lindberg tragedy made the team aware, but Mike Green made the team wake up."
I think you will all join in a warm round of applause to the person who has really been a great example and someone I truly respect and admire, Mike Green.
I have to give a little more of my background. I started seven years as a defensive lineman at Westchester University. Coaching and athletics have always been part of my life. I'm a health and physical education major. I ended up coaching at the school where I played football. In one of the games we were playing, our quarterback was under the influence of quaaludes. Our coaches didn't know and I didn't know. We lost the game. The next year when a position opened up at the college for a full-time drug and alcohol specialist, I left coaching to take that position. I have it in my heart that I don't want students to walk in my footsteps. I really am from a normal family that has normal problems. Dad wanted me to be a football player and I went to be that player. Unfortunately, I ended up an alcoholic. I also ended up with a B average. I ended up as captain of my team. I had no purpose in life to end up losing my wife, family, job and everything else from just drinking. Everybody else on the team drank. It was part of playing college football. It was part of athletics. But, unfortunately, out of the II people that played defensive line in 1974, seven out of the II of us today are recovering alcoholics.
I ended up in a fraternity called Alcoholics Anonymous. One out of 36 people make it in the first year of recovery. I was lucky enough, with the grace of God, to stay sober. I've been sober almost II
years. Truly, in my heart, I coached students not to walk in my path. What's important about this is that unless you're motivated, unless you played college athletics, unless you know how to understand the kids when you walk into a seminar, they don't want to hear this at all. The first time I lectured there were some 500 athletes in an auditorium. I hear people saying, "I don't want to hear this geek talk about drugs and alcohol." They were reading newspapers and not paying any attention. Within five minutes 500 people were not sleeping and were paying attention. I did the most important thing I could do and that was to take a survey. Let's do it now. How many people have ever had a problem with alcohol? Raise your hand. You're allowed to
look around. The point is, we wont even look around the room. Now, two or three people in the whole room admit this. Now, watch this. How many people enjoy a social cocktail now and then? Please put your hand up.
You see what happened then?
I went into Penn State's football camp. Joe Paterno was walking out of the room. I had 150 Penn
State football players sitting in the room. I asked them how many like to drink alcohol. All 150 of them were liars, no one raised their hand. The coach said, "I guess I'd better leave the room." As soon as he walked out of the door, I again asked how many people like to drink alcohol. All of the sudden when the coach left the room, I saw a different reaction. Usually, I don't allow coaches in the seminar.
People glamorize the word "drunk." When you ask them that question, they will raise their hand because being drunk is a big thing.
How many have ever been sick from drinking too much alcohol? We have about 70 percent of the hands up. So you've had a drink? You've been drunk in your lifetime. You've been sick? How many have ever had an alcohol problem? Now, once again, how many ever got sick from drinking too much alcohol? Having had that problem doesn't mean you're an alcoholic.
You have to realize that you have a problem. How do you deal with this? You have counselors on campus. You educate the players. No one should ever go out and drink alcohol three days before any competition. If they do it the night after the competition and they're 21, they should not do it to get
drunk. But, unfortunately, we have a society where people get drunk and we make them very popular. If I knew I had a problem and it was apparent, I could work on it. But, how many people sitting in this room didn't put up their hands because they don't know what an alcohol problem is. If you don't, how will our players?
I take most of my gimmicks from counseling appointments. I had a student die at Westchester University. He was only 21 years old. His father came to me a year later in tears saying, "I want to know why you never taught a chugging contest." I said, "I can't do a chugging contest in front of the audience." He said, "You don't have to use alcohol. When my son turned 21, he chugged 21 shots of liquor. He died in bed of a blood alcohol level of .67. He wasn't an alcoholic. All he had was one good night's drinking.
Isn't that a problem?" I said, "absolutely." He said, "Then, why don't you do a chugging contest?" For that reason, we made up a chugging contest. I would like to do it here with you. I need four volunteers from our audience.
We have two people who did chug in college and two who did not. The object of the game is that two people will win and two will lose. The two that win will sit down. The two losers will have to stay up here with me. I'm going to count and as fast as you can, drink from the cups up here and put the cup back down. The first two to turn around will be the winners. Will the two winners take one step forward.
Not one person in this group asked me what they were drinking. Do you realize that you simply turned around and drank whatever was in that cup because I said we will have winners. I had a girl come to me who did the exact same thing. Someone put a quaalude in her drink. The girl wanted us to teach
that you should make sure you know what is in that cup before you drink it. Before you pick anything up, ~ sure you know what is in that cup. That's an innocent mistake, but everyone did it.
Know what you do if you lose. Our athletes love to compete. Get them in a party where people will challenge them to drink faster. Someone will say, "I'll do it. I can beat anyone at anything."
There's always peer pressure. If someone cheers you on, you'll do it. You can say no. You don't have to do anything because someone is cheering for you. We need to teach our athletes to be spectators. People shouldn't make you do something you do not want to do.
There are five ways to get keys away from your friends. You can forcibly grab them. You can block their car in. You can take them home. You can always say you wouldn't let your best friend bleed to death, sc why would you let him get in a car or drink himself to death. Maybe it's time that teammates are responsible for each other. The teammates always say, "the coaches give us skills, but they never taught us how to do that." I think it's time we start teaching little things like this, because it's due to small accidents that kids are never alcoholic. It's just a one big night's experiment.
Our next technique will include a coaching program. I have a program called, coach's stance. Each letter is an acronym specifically designed to teach coaches how to recognize drug and alcohol problems. The "coa" in the very beginning stands for, clues, observations and attitudes of coaches. It really stands for "children of alcoholics." If you recruit someone who is a child of an alcoholic, I think that person automatically needs some type of counselling. If you live with an alcoholic, that's a problem right away. Most alcoholics will say, "I'll never drink like my old man." After four years of college, they're worse thi their old man.
Do our students really like the taste of alcohol or do they do it for attention? They do it for recognition. That's why I did it. It made me part of the group. I never liked the taste of alcohol. It became something that everyone else did. But, look at all the problems we're having today.
When you get to be an SOB which stands for "substances other than booze." The second leading substance on any college campus or high school or any junior high is marijuana. My point is this; first of all, it's not legal. There is no other drug I know that destroys motivation more than marijuana. You want an athlete to be 100 percent when he plays and that drug doesn't do it. Marijuana usually leads to other drugs. How do you replace motivation? You can't.
In my lifetime, I smoked a little marijuana and that was only once. When I did, I found it was laced with PCP. It was called whacky weed and I never bothered to ask what was in it. That one night I almost died. How many innocent athletes take something because everyone else did? Marijuana should not be legal in any way because of the damage that it does.
We're not even satisfied with alcohol or marijuana because now we have cocaine and crack. We have to teach our students not to try it the first time just because everyone else does. It could be the last time. Teach our kids decision making. Teach them to slow down. You don't need to follow everyone else.
One person can pull a whole team down. We need the whole team to get the job done. It's everyone's responsibility to get a teammate help. United we stand, divided we fall. In one year at Villanova, we had over 80 students come in just for questions and answers on how to help another student. It can work and it does work.
Tonight I'm having a reception in my room and we'll have videos available and other information available to you. I came up with a slogan called the two-halt tip. No one should drink anymore than two drinks. If you're a social drinker, in a period of one hour you should never have more than two drinks. You should not be drinking more than three hours. If you had two drinks an hour for approximately three hours, that's no more than a six-pack. The biggest problem of all is having a person drink as many cans of beer as they can in the first two hours. They will get drunk. Slow down. The halt stands for; "hungry" -food slows the consumption of alcohol down. Eat before you go out. "Anger" -how many times do I hear about an athlete making an assault and every time that happens, the person was drunk and angry. Alcohol and anger never mix. Alcohol and anger together come out AA and that stands for Alcoholics Anonymous. "Loneliness" -if you're lonelyand you need a couple of drinks to go out, you're using it as a crutch. "Tired" -if you're tired, don't drink. Alcohol is a depressant. It'll hit you faster and quicker than anything else.
The tips were just added because of the Rutgers student. "T" stands for things that can get you drunk. For instance, funnels, birthdays, initiation, famous names of drinks. They need to know that those things help to make you drunk. "I" stands for ingredients. Know what is in the drinks. "p" stands for people, places and peer pressure. "S" stands for substances. Don't mix any substance with alcohol; not aspirin, not marijuana nor cocaine .
The college students are now going out to high schools to educate students on drug and alcohol
abuse. I can't imagine a better way. They discuss peer pressure with them. The media in these areas
comment that it's about time our students came out and fought the problem themselves by educating other students. It has been very successful for us. It works and they also get a lot of attention. It gets people to ask questions and stop closing their eyes to this problem.
Thank you for letting me share this with you and I had a great time today.
Thank you Mike. Fantastic presentation, I thought. For those of you who were watching up here during Mike's presentation, I think you noticed how many times my hand went up. If it had gone up every time he asked a question, I would have been batting a thousand and you don't do that when you're at the head of the table.
I would like to introduce the assistant director of security of the NFL, Charles Jackson. Charles joined the staff of the NFL as the assistant director of security in July, 1975. Jackson is a native of Yonkers and received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Adelphi University in 1953. He completed his masters in public administration at the City College of New York in 1960. Jackson was with the Yonkers Police Department from 1952 until 1968 and with the Westchester County Sheriff's Department from 1968 until his retirement in 1973, serving as Chief of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation of the later department and task force commander of a three-state narcotics Strike Force versus organized crime distribution in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the U.S. Treasury Academy.
During his 20-years of law enforcement service, he received over 40 awards and citations for distinguished police service including awards from the Detective Endowment Association of the New York City Police Department and the Westchester Grandeurs Association. In 1978, he was president of the International Narcotics Enforcement Office Association, a world-wide organization of law enforcement personnel. At present, Jackson is on the board of directors for the National Association of Drug Abuse Problems. He has been made available to the White House for Mrs. Reagan's Just Say No Program. He is on the Steering Committee for the U.S. Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration Demand Reduction Program.
ln 1985, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Jackson has lectured at numerous universities and law enforcement academies and he has served as a consultant for several national corporations and in municipal police departments in the field of drug abuse prevention
and community relations. I'd like to introduce to you at this time, Charles Jackson.
Thank you very much. I promise I won't put you through any experiments; I won't have you admit any of your dark secrets but, indeed, Mike, your message was great. My message isn't going to be that
illuminating. My message is one that probably forebodes a little bit of fear. I've probably spoken at a number of your colleges and universities. I've spoken to your athletes, and certainly, over 13-years I've inherited and met a lot of your athletes. The thing that really disturbs me in my next few minutes of presentation to you is the fact that in those 13 years, I don't see us going anywhere. I don't see the problems getting any better.
It was good that Mike alluded to the alcohol problem because it is the number one enhancer in professional sports. There's no doubt about that. But closely related to the alcohol problem are the types of drugs in the recreational arena as well as the game-enhancing arena which I want to share some time with you, because these are your athletes. These are the people that we meet. These are the people that you get from the high schools and these are the people who are representative of the problems of the United States of America.
I'm very bitter, yet, I can appreciate the importance of our President running off to Russia and all these other places, but somewhere, it seems to me that the priorities of this country are way out of kilt.
I'm not worrying about any bomb falling on my head. The bomb has already spread itself over the United States and our kids are already contaminated. That's were we should be placing our thoughts.
There are things that do concern me. The principal thing that you as an athletic director and I, as a person representing professional sports, need to concern ourselves with before we even get involved in the history of what the substance is, or the problem the individual has as a user, be he an athlete or just a non-performing person, is that there is, and should always be maintained in the minds of every coach and athletic director who represents a university, a crime being committed. When your athlete is involved in the purchase or distribution of, never mind the use of, there is a crime being committed. The university can and will receive some unfavorable publicity if the individual is caught. Every time that crime goes down, that passing of the drug or receiving of the money, a situation arises whether or not your university stands to
Our drug problem is where it is today because of the profit motive. When a student can go to college and sell drugs at the same time, play football or basketball, he has the greatest thing going for him. He has an opportunity to do what he likes to do and he has an opportunity to gain income. That income is illegal.
For those of you who do not believe, or look upon it as a small problem, when one of your athletes is taking care of another athlete, understand this -he is a dealer, whether he is small or large. What worries me about this is the fact that in the city of Chicago a gram of coccaine is running from $178 to $240. I can understand how my professional athlete can afford this, but I really worry about how a college athlete can afford it. If indeed he is a freebaser, which many of them are, it usually takes him three to four grams to really do it up right. Now where in the hell can a college kid get four times $178? Start thinking about that.
I worry about the fact that if he graduates into the use of this drug on a regular basis and he needs four grams twice a week, then we must consider two things; even if he is making mega bucks at the professional level, it's going to run short. If he's not making mega bucks, and indeed, if he is making mega bucks and someone has given him a line of credit, somewhere down the line, that individual comes and says, "I want my money." The athlete is now faced with two questions; does he play the game for good old university of nowhere, or does he play the game for the person he owes the money to. That makes me worry about the legitimacy of our sports. Is it contaminated? Think about it. The student who is playing for you. Is he playing for you on Sunday, Tuesday or Wednesday, or is he playing for somebody else. I always worry about that.
It's the position of the National Football League that drugs are deadly. We would like to eliminate them from all sports, but I don't see us going anywhere. When you and I are in the ground and our kids are in the ground, drugs will be here because it's part of the system. I worry about this. We in professional sports and we in the National Football League will not come here and try to humiliate you or make you think that we're fools. We have one bona fide problem and it's a problem that is daily, weekly and yearly. The point is, in order to correct the problem, you first have admit that you have the problem.
It is no crime to admit that you have a problem and it is the first step to getting well. Let's look
at all of the policies that you have, which are glorious and make good reading. Have any of you really considered the fact that can your athlete read this great policy? It's great to have a policy. It's great to
showan athlete. it's great to show when recruiting. But, can the athlete read it and does he truly
understand it? If he has a reading level of grade six or eight, he surely doesn't understand that policy. Perhaps you should take the time to make certain this student understands exactly what is in the written document.
When we start to inventory our drug problems , we first must make an admission. Let's discount the theory that this is a black man's problem. In the 13 years in the NFL and in corporations, etc., the headlines may truly and clearly indicate that it is just that. This abuse of drugs has no color spectrum. Let's examine this athlete and look at his background. I will tell you some startling facts. When we get them, we know that 84 percent of the professional athletes were have-nots. In other words, they were economically disenfranchised. Maybe 36 to 40 percent were college graduates. Ninety-seven percent of the people we got on scholarships and grants. Admittedly, a have-not person, a poor man, has a hard time dealing with the fact that suddenly an abundance of money falls upon him. Many of these people then lose perspective of their priorities because it is a cruel, hard world. The nice ladies, the big cars, the condominiums that are necessary all suddenly close in this athlete. We find him succumbing to all the many things out there.
Part of the problems fall on the shoulders of the high schools and colleges because you're inheriting the problems of the high schools and we're inheriting the problems of the colleges. More and more, there are chemically dependent people manifesting themselves into our athletic programs. When you begin to think that kids nine or 10 years old have $800 to $900 in their pockets for selling crack and are using crack at that age, our future does not look that great.
Let's try looking at this problem by asking what you can do, what your coach can do and let's begin by telling our athletes that that scholarship or grant-in-aid they are getting is a privilege. It's not an inheritable right and it's not something due to them. The only thing due them is that they have life and they have death. After that, there is nothing that belongs to them. Kids will tell you that they have it made and that you need them. There is no person on this earth that is "needed." We've got to make these kids understand that this particular scholarship or grant-in-aid is afforded to them because God created them with something other kids do not have. That's the ability to run faster or play better than most people can, but don't let him think that he is better or superman.
Ergogenic drugs are game-enhancing drugs. These drugs are used to provide and create performance levels. The greatest one of all on the college campus today, both for women and men, are anabolic steroids. This is an even greater problem than crack or cocaine. It has been published that anabolic steroids are the cause of aggressive behavior. Where have they been? All you have to do is consider the fact that when individuals, particularly football players and others involved in building up their muscles and strength,
and they use anabolic steroids, they've got to show some people what they can do. That's where the aggressive behavior starts.
Take the time to check what your players do when they're off and if they go to local health centers, find out what goes on when he gets there. Find out what is offered to him legitimately and what is offered to him illegitimately. Many doctors are looking for money as opposed to the proper practice of medicine and many of our athletes are involved. I worry about this.
These ergogenic drugs can cause increased aggressive behavior. The individual in his pursuit of these drugs is a walking time bomb. We've had coaches suddenly assaulted by players.
The most abused drug in America is alcohol. Let's look at the players who use alcohol regularly. A player who uses alcohol during the week, will need to take something to bring down his alcohol high.
We have to understand that these people who are involved with alcohol are the people crowding your table with orthopedic problems. They come in with sore muscles. One of the things we look at is a guy who says he can't work out today because he has sore muscles. When we check into this, we find out that, certainly his muscles are sore, he's been working out with booze.
I also want to tell you to look into the prostitution of or enabling of individuals to cover up for other individual users. It's something that is well-intentioned, but indeed, it is far beyond the realm of good intentions. It is a disaster and it is part of the system of why drugs are working on campuses and in professional ranks. A position coach or a teammate thinks that by covering up for a person, he's helping him. He's helping him to continue, so let's look at this. We have to worry about, and admit to everyone in this room, that chemical dependency is a disease. Though you are conservative and you come from the "old school", and you don't like it, you must understand that drug dependency is a disease. It is here to stay.
We have to look upon some of the chronic effects of it and we do know that the chronic effects of athletes who are using drugs and/or alcohol can cause bruising easily. The healing level is slower because of the fact that there is a contradiction of the substances. We encourage people to take pictures of athletes when they come in and watch them. Keep after them to make sure they can still function without any problems.
The last thing I want to mention is PDIS. This is Post Drug Impaired Syndrome and it is a combination of signs and symptoms in a person who has taken certain drugs. They have now developed a permanent chemical imbalance in their brain. It takes people who have been involved in drugs from age 15 to 19 and suddenly they stop. They found a better way.
Our goals have to be a common base of knowledge, build support groups, give up ownership and admit it. Write policies and procedures and then hope that the people who are going to read them can read. Develop a healthy climate. Establish and reward those students who are straight. Pat them on the back and let them know that you love them for being straight. Last but not least, when you walk out of here and return to your
colleges, cut out the bickering.
Charles, thank you very much for a very strong and powerful presentation. This session is adjourned and the next session is at 11:15.
Thank you very much.