The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) is pleased to share their latest topic summary, Youth Sport Participation and Substance Use: Understanding the Relationship. This summary reviews the evidence on the relationship between sport participation and youth substance use, and outlines why it is challenging to understand in a Canadian context. It also summarizes the gaps in the research and future research implications.
It is estimated that 84% of children and youth aged 3 to 17 in Canada participate in some form of sport, and 60% participate in an organized sport. Given this popularity, there is a clear need to understand the potential benefits and risks associated with sport participation. Further understanding this relationship can help inform prevention efforts among Canadian youth. The opportunity to do more in this area is well-recognized by youth prevention workers — CCSA's 2015 environmental scan and this topic summary were both initiated at the request of several stakeholders working in this area. CCSA applauds their initiative and engagement on this issue.