Matt Moore – Ball State University
Allison Abbe – Ball State University
This study conducted the first-ever investigation into the substance use and abuse behaviors of student-athletes representing the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The NAIA did not previously have data available on the alcohol, drug, and tobacco use among their 65,000+ student-athletes competing across approximately 250 member schools. As evident in the work of the NCAA (2017), the NAIA understood there were potential alcohol, drug, and tobacco use and abuse challenges impacting the biopsychosocial development of their athletes. These are challenges that could impact an athlete in a number of ways, some far-reaching one’s time at a university. The current study used the NCAA Student-Athlete Substance Use Survey with a sample of NAIA student-athletes (n = 2,489). Results compared findings between the NAIA, NCAA, and overall college student population. This study allowed NAIA members as well as the national office staff to gain a clearer picture of student-athlete needs and next steps for promoting necessary, holistic athlete health and safety measures. Additionally, these results provide comparisons between NAIA student-athletes, NCAA student-athletes, and the larger nonathlete college population.