Growing up in a small town in southern America, high school sports were a huge part of day-to-day life. I remember the “star” athletes in my school. They had proud parents, happy coaches, and the whole school was behind them. Athletic programs are great ways for kids to learn life skills and learn the importance of physical conditioning. Scholarships, popularity, and self-achievements are some of the benefits that can come with athletic success, but there’s also a lot of pressure. Many young men and women use steroids to try to achieve better results without grasping the dangers.
: Steroids are synthetic testosterone. They can be taken by mouth or injected into a large muscle. It is surprising how easy they are to obtain. Everyone that injected them would go to the local co-op or pet store to get a package of syringes. Almost all of these stores will sell needles for “animal use only” without requiring any identification or veterinary prescription. It only cost a few dollars, and comes with instructions. These packages are usually referred to as “gear” among steroid users.
The drug is often called “Juice.” It usually either comes from overseas companies or cooked up in a homemade lab. Anyone with access to a credit card and the internet has access to these black-market labs. It is not monitored the F.D.A. or any other reputable organization. This causes a lot of fake chemicals, and non-sterile containers. This can cause infection, unknown side-effects, and countless other problems.
: Steroids are extremely dangerous even if they are made correctly. They can cause an assortment of hormonal problems in men and women. It is common for women to grow facial hair, men to get breasts, stunted growth, infertility, liver problems, and severe mood swings. The injection site can get infected and even cause an abscess. Stopping the steroids can cause withdraw symptoms for months.
: Many people don't think of steroids as drugs. Most of the people that abuse these are involved with sports, and may look healthy at first glance. They will not show all of the symptoms that a person on heroin or cocaine may display. This is what makes them dangerous. Steroids are drugs. They are illegal and can cause death.
: If a young athlete is on steroids, they may show certain signs. They may have drastic mood swings. Some will put on an unusual amount of muscle mass. Acne is common on the face and body. Obsessive attitudes about working out, or the use of legal testosterone boosting drugs from supplement stores, almost always coincide with Steroid use. Tests can be given if someone is showing these signs, and the tests can be taken from blood, urine, and hair. This is an epidemic in many schools across America. My school was one of many. Too many people are overlooking this hazardous group of chemicals.
Be aware: These are dangerous and addictive drugs that are commonly used in teen sporting events. Teens and Steroids: A Dangerous Combo Facts and Myths video