Teenage Steroid Use: A disturbing trend amongst high school kids…

Steroids are well famous for their testosterone simulating properties of building muscle mass and enhancing endurance and thus have been notoriously abused to boost stamina and athletic performance since shortly after their conception. As a result, the incidences of non-medicinal use of steroids have increased considerably in recent years, particularly amongst adolescents & high school students often without their parents ever getting to know about it!

According to a survey by the Department of Health and Human Services, U.S., approximately 12 percent of teenage boys and around two percent of teenage girls use steroids and most of them are high school kids. The most recent data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s ‘Monitoring the Future’ survey indicates that the trends, both in the use of anabolic steroids and in teenagers’ attitudes about them, are going in the wrong direction. According to NIDA, more than a half million 10th grade students are using these dangerous drugs across the States and at least two third of them begin using them by 16 years of age. What is really disturbing is the uninformed attitude of these kids.

Steroids are frequently taken in a practice called “stacking,” in which the abuser mixes oral and/or injectable types of anabolic steroids and uses several steroids at once. An average adult male body naturally produces 2.5-11 mg of testosterone daily; however, the average steroid abuser often takes more than 100 mg a day. Steroid abusers often also “pyramid” stacked compounds in cycles of 6 to 12 weeks, meaning that they gradually increase doses & then slowly decrease them to zero in a belief that this will allow the body to adjust to and recuperate from high doses of steroids.

This survey by NIDA reports an increasing number of high school seniors saying that they don’t believe that the drugs are risky at all! This is disturbing because health risks and side effects are much more serious for teens than grown up adults. This is because a teenager’s body is not fully developed, & as development is a multi-factorial process regulated by a very fine balance between a diverse array of hormones, a skewed up hormonal profile is that last thing a developing body needs. The effects on women are even worse since androgens and testosterone are male hormones and their bodies are simply not contrived for taking exogenous male hormones! Thus, teenage steroid users appear to be at special risk for many of the adverse psychological and physical consequences of steroid use. Further, as most of them are either unaware or unconvinced of negative physical and psychological effects of steroids, they strongly believe that steroids produce the physical effects they desire, and have no plans to stop using them in near future. However, hormonal system disruptions may lead to a range of behavioral effects reflected most commonly by psychotic symptoms, often characterized by impulsive, aggressive and violent behavior, particularly when high doses are taken. Depression, mood swings, fatigue, restlessness, loss of appetite, and reduced sex drive may occur when steroid abuse is stopped.

Social pressure, misguided advertisements & easy accessibility are the major reasons for the use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs amongst the youth today. Just a click of mouse shall fetch you details of thousands of vendors selling a wide range of pills over the internet and since when has procuring anything from internet been a major hassle!

 

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