All You Need To Know About Teenage Steroid Abuse

These days. it’s pretty much common knowledge that anabolic steroids are being abused by some bodybuilders, professional athletes, and fitness buffs. However, what’s more alarming is that students are getting access and taking anabolic steroids without sufficient knowledge about the side effects of teenage steroid abuse.

Although steroids are usually acquired by means of doctor’s prescriptions for therapeutic purposes, school-age children and teenagers are obtaining the drug from illegal sources. Surprisingly enough, some schools that implement steroid testing on high school athletes are still running through the problem of teenage steroid abuse.

The most common illegal method of getting steroids is smuggling from other countries such as Mexico and European countries. In some cases, anabolic steroids for illegal use are produced in clandestine laboratories and are sold over the Internet.

Some examples of commonly abused steroids include the following:

Oral Steroids

  • Anadrol® (oxymetholone)
  • Oxandrin® (oxandrolone)
  • Dianabol® (methandrostenolone)
  • Winstrol® (stanozolol)

Injectable Steroids

  • Deca-Durabolin® (nandrolone decanoate)
  • Durabolin® (nandrolone phenpropionate)
  • Depo-Testosterone® (testosterone cypionate)
  • Equipoise® (boldenone undecylenate)

Unlike other drugs that are taken for their psychoactive effect, steroids are usually taken for muscle and strength development. The Monitoring the Future survey revealed that since 1991, there has been a significant increase in reported steroid use by school-age children and teenagers.

The chart below illustrates the increase of steroid abuse among 8th, 10th, and 12th Graders who reported using steroids at least once in their lifetime.

Year

8th Grade

10th Grade

12th Grade

1991

1.9%

1.8%

2.1%

1999

2.7%

2.7%

2.9%

2002

2.5%

3.5%

4.0%

The 2002 survey also indicated additional data related to steroid abuse by school-age children:

Student Steroid Use

8th Grade

10th Grade

12th Grade

Past Month Use

0.8%

1.0%

1.4%

Past Year Use

1.5%

2.2%

2.5%

Lifetime Use

2.5%

3.5%

4.0%

The table below demonstrates the prevalence of steroids use among 8th, 10th, and 12th Graders between 2003 and 2006.

Student Steroid Use

8th Grade

2003

2004

2005

2006

Past month use

0.7%

0.5%

0.5%

0.5%

Past Year Use

1.4%

1.1%

1.1%

0.9%

Lifetime Use

2.5%

1.9%

1.7%

1.6%

Student Steroid Use

10th Grade

2003

2004

2005

2006

Past month use

0.8%

0.8%

0.6%

0.6%

Past Year Use

1.7%

1.5%

1.3%

1.2%

Lifetime Use

3.0%

2.4%

2.0%

1.8%

Student Steroid Use

12th Grade

2003

2004

2005

2006

Past month use

1.3%

1.6%

0.9%

1.1%

Past Year Use

2.1%

2.5%

1.5%

1.8%

Lifetime Use

3.5%

3.4%

2.6%

2.7%

Anabolic steroids are used predominately by males. In 2010, the annual prevalence rates of anabolic steroids use were 0.7% (8thGrade), 1.3% (10th Grade), and 2.5% (12th Grade) for boys alone. Almost all of that increase occurred among boys increasing from 1.6% in 1998 to 2.5% in 1999 in 8th grade and from 1.9% to 2.8% in 10th grade. Thus, rates among boys increased by about 50% in a single year.

Meanwhile, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Study – a survey of high school students across the United States – in 2001, which revealed that 5% of all high school students reported lifetime use of steroid tablets/injections without a doctor’s prescription.  The survey also indicated that 5.8% of ninth graders, 4.9% of tenth graders, 4.3% of eleventh graders, and 4.3% of twelfth graders reported lifetime illegal use of steroids.

Students and teenagers may have different reasons for taking and abusing steroids. Although the MTF (Monitoring the Future) surveys have shown a decline in steroids use by school-age children and teenagers over the last several years, the fight against steroids abuse is still a bit far from being over.

The U.S. Department of Justice, particularly the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) continues to remind everyone that the most important aspect to curtailing abuse is education concerning dangerous and harmful side effects and symptoms of abuse.  Athletes and others must understand that they can excel in sports and have a great body without steroids.  They should focus on getting a proper diet, rest, and good overall mental and physical health. The use of steroid urine test kit by parents to monitor their children’s possible drug use is also helpful to minimize or deter the chances of steroids abuse. These things are all factors in how the body is shaped and conditioned.

Five Most Commonly Used Illegal Steroids by High School Students in the U.S.

While the ’70s saw high school students getting high on LSD and marijuana, the past decades have seen a different type of drug abuse among teenagers in the United States. Now, statistics show that teen use of illegal substances is not just concentrated on recreational drugs. Because of the rising pressure to fit in with the cool crowd and to do well in school both academically and athletically, more and more high school students are starting to take illegal steroids as often as protein shakes or power drinks.

In teen lingo, anabolic steroids are called “Arnolds”, “gym candy”, “pumpers”, or “roids”. They are believed to help build muscle tissue, reduce recovery time between workouts and enhance overall athletic performance.

However, the dangers and side effects of these illegal steroids far outweigh the purported advantages. Keep your child safe from anabolic steroids by familiarizing yourself with the most common brands that high school students have been using in the U.S.

Deca-Durabolin

Commonly known as “Deca,” this synthetic steroid is sold in liquid form, which is injected into an individual. It has been used to treat diseases like HIV and AIDS and is often used in conjunction with other steroids, such as Tren. Deca is said to improve collagen synthesis and bone mineral content, which results in faster recovery and healing time for athletes. Most athletes use Deca during the “cutting” and “bulking” cycles because it can supposedly increase weight and mass.

Equipoise

Another common steroid for teen use is Equipoise, which is manufactured primarily for horses. Athletes, however, have found out that this illegal steroid can help them gain mass and strength. Most of the time, Equipoise is used before contests and competitions, but some athletes choose to inject themselves with this steroid every other day.

Winstrol-Stanozol

Often called Winstrol or Winny, this is one of the many anabolic steroids abused by high school students. Winstrol can be taken orally or it can be injected into the individual. It is said that taking "winnies" regularly can help make muscles harder and more defined, prompting athletes to take this steroid during their “cutting” cycle. It is also believed to be effective in promoting strength.

Androstenedione

Also called Andro, this steroid has enjoyed substantial teen use. It is tagged to be the most potent among available anabolic steroids on the market today. Andro is a direct precursor to testosterone. This means that when taken orally, this powerful steroid can increase lean muscle mass and strength significantly. It also believed that Andro could boost libido in both males and females.

Oxandrin

This anabolic steroid is taken orally and is commonly used for weight gain. Because of its properties, it is usually prescribed to those who have experienced massive weight loss because of illnesses, severe trauma or surgery. However, it has emerged as one of the more popular illegal steroids because it can also help in building mass.

Common Effects & Consequences of Using Anabolic Steroids in Teenagers

Teenagers are prone to try something new especially if they have an idea like it makes them look great. They do this without thinking of the adverse effects or possible consequences of trying one. One of the concerns among teenagers in America is the use of anabolic steroids among teenage boys. These anabolic steroids when abused and can have unfavorable effects on the user.

Some teens generally use steroids so that they can look bigger and better. Steroids have an effect on building muscle mass. Despite looking normal, teenagers use steroids to enhance muscle building. Some would use this during gym workouts especially to create bigger muscles than their normal capacity.

Others use this for sports. In fact, most athletes use steroids to enhance game performance as this creates aggression and body enhancement.

But as this is not prescribed, there is a tendency that such drug is used badly. Plus, it can have an adverse effect on the physical and mental health. If they are not aware, teenagers may fall on these consequences and may find it hard to get back on track.

The most common effects of steroid abuse are as follows:

  • Hormonal imbalance – This refers to the tendency that girls may grow masculine characteristics and boys have feminine characteristics
  • Liver problems – It could lead to liver damage or tumor building on the liver
  • Jaundice – Users may look yellowish and their tissues and fluids may look yellowish as well
  • High blood pressure – It could be that users increase blood pressure and may even increase bad cholesterol leading to heart ailments
  • Renal failure
  • Severe acne
  • Fluid retention
  • Mood swings, arrogance, and aggression

Aside from these general effects, there are also specific consequences for male and female users. For men, using steroids constantly may cause shrinkage of testicles, infertility, lessen sperm count, baldness, and risk of prostate cancer. For women, the effects are baldness, cessation of menstruation, deepened voice and enlargement of the clitoris. Aside from this, teenagers experience side effects that include stunted growth because of premature maturation of the skeleton and accelerated puberty.

Aside from all these side effects in teens and other users, abuse of steroids can be fatal. What is even worse is that these steroids are so addictive that users have the tendency to use this all over again and are insatiable of how they look.

What You Need To Know About Steroid Testing Your Teenager

As a parent, you may be terrified of discovering that your child is taking steroids. Asking your teenager to take a drug test will most probably be a difficult task. Here are some pros and cons of asking your teenager to take a steroid test:

Pros of Steroid Testing

  1. Steroid testing can save lives.

You may feel some hesitation towards implementing drug testing in your home. However, you must keep in mind one important fact: that drug testing can save lives. You’ll be able to detect if any member of your household is taking drugs, and you’ll be able to seek medical attention immediately.

  1. Drug testing gives you peace of mind.

To be honest, steroid testing is more beneficial to the parents compared to their children. It gives parents peace of mind that their children aren’t in any danger, and are generally in good health.

  1. It doesn’t have to be an invasive procedure.

A steroid test does not have to be an invasive type of test. Most drug tests for this drug are urine-based, which is extremely simple to do. Steroids tend to stay in the body for 2 weeks up to a month, which is why it will most probably appear on a steroid urine drug test.

  1. It opens the door to conversations about alternatives.

Whether or not your teen’s drug test comes out positive, you can take the opportunity to have conversations with your children that you would not normally have with them. You can talk about healthy alternatives to steroids, such as certain foods or vitamin supplements.

  1. It will safeguard your child’s athletic career.

One reason teenagers take steroids is to boost their athletic career. Although they may see the advantages of taking steroids, they may not understand the risks involved in taking them and in getting caught. By keeping your children drug free, you can ensure that their athletic career is not in jeopardy.

Cons of Steroid Testing

  1. There will be a backlash.

As a parent, one thing you must be prepared for is a backlash. Your teen will most probably feel that you do not trust them, especially if he or she did not do anything specific to make you doubt them. Trust will become an issue, and you must remember to address this issue before your child does.

  1. You will be greeted with an attitude.

No matter how much you explain to your children that you are testing them for their benefit, they will most probably greet your decision with reluctance or even anger. Don’t allow yourself to be affected by their actions, however. If they have nothing to hide, they will eventually adjust to the idea of taking a drug test.

  1. It is an invasion of privacy.

For a teenager, a drug test of any form is an invasion of privacy. At their age, teenagers value privacy and personal space above all else. Steroid testing your teens will make them feel like you are meddling in their personal lives.

  1. You may judge your teenager.

If your child receives a positive drug test result, you may automatically assume that he or she is a heavy drug user. It may be possible that your child just tried it once, or was pressured by a classmate into taking it. One positive test result may make you say or do things that you might regret later. Make sure to listen to what your teen has to say.

  1. Teenage years are crucial.

If you discover your child is taking steroids, you need to put plenty of thought into your next course of action. If the school discovers that your child is taking steroids, it’s possible that he or she will get kicked out of school. Other schools may also find out about your teen’s history with drugs, affecting his or her chances of getting accepted at a good college or university.

Remember to discuss your decision with your children. Communication is very important at this stage, and it is important that they understand why steroid testing them is essential.


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