The best thing that came out of doing sports in high school was that the coaches told us not to smoke, drink or do drugs. I listened and did as I was told (I think I may have been the only one-but this is the reason I used when offered alcohol or drugs). Trying to fit in is always hard in high school, and although I attended parties, I only drank once during the summer of my junior year (I got very sick and did not try again until the end of senior year).
I am fairly confident that if I did not play sports I would have tried to fit in with the crowd that drank, hung out and smoked cigarettes and pot after school just so I could have friends. I was already good acquaintances with them, and this could have easily turned into my "escape" as well, as I am a person who is quickly addicted to most substances. To this day, I can barely remember my high school experiences because I was so stressed out. I was merely hanging in there until it was over. By the end of senior year, when all the sports were over, I started hanging out with these acquaintance friends more and more. I even went to school drunk one day. I started smoking because they did too. It was a good thing I was off to camp for the summer, as this quickly halted my escalating behavior.
What I had learned toward the end of high school was the feeling of escape with alcohol and cigarettes. This would once again catch up with me in college.