According to the results from the 2006 Monitoring the Future Study, which surveys students in the eight, tenth, and twelfth grades, steroid usage slightly decreased from 2005 to 2006 in both eighth and tenth graders. The use of steroids amongst twelfth graders saw an increase from 1.5% abusers in 2005 to 1.8% in 2006.
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Also asked in the survey was the ease in which an adolescent can obtain steroids; the survey found 17.1% of eighth graders, 30.2% of tenth graders, and 41.1% of twelfth graders could “fairly easily” or “very easily” obtain steroids if desired.
Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducts a survey of high school students throughout the United States. The results of this survey can be found below.
Effects of Steroids
Heart problems – Steroid abuse has been linked with cardiovascular disease, which includes heart attack and stroke. These have been known to happen to athletes even under the age of 30.
Appearance – For both men and women, steroids can cause male-pattern baldness, cysts, acne, as well as oily hair and skin.
Mood – Steroids can have the same effect as high blood pressure, they can make you angry and hostile for no reason. There are documented cases of murder connected to the intense anger that stems from steroid use, as recent as the tragic death of the Benoit wrestling family.
Signs of Steroid Abuse
If you think your friend or relative may be abusing steroids, there are several signs to look for. For guys, side effects could be baldness, development of breasts, and impotence. Side effects of steroids in females can consist of growth of facial hair, deepened voice, and reduction in breast size.
In both sexes, be alert for jaundice (yellowing of the skin), swelling of feet/ankles, and aching of the joints, nervousness, trembling, mood swings, and bad breath.
Know someone who’s abusing steroids? Take action today. For information and referrals, call the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information at 800.729.6686.
The Basics of Steroids
Anabolic steroids were developed in the late 1930s to treat hypogonadism, a defect of the reproductive system. The primary medical uses are to treat delayed puberty, types of impotence, and the wasting of the body caused by HIV infection and other diseases.
Shortly after the development of anabolic steroids in the 1930s, scientists discovered that they could facilitate the growth of skeletal muscle in laboratory animals. This led to abuse by bodybuilders and weightlifters, and then eventually spreading to athletes in other sports – even youths.
Anabolic steroids can be taken orally, rubbed on the skin as a cream, or injected intramuscularly. These drugs are commonly used in patterns known as “cycling,” which involves the user taking multiple doses over a specific period of time, stopping for a while, and then resuming. Individuals who use steroids also frequently combine different types of steroids, called “stacking.” It’s believed by users that doing this will cause each different type of steroid to interact with one another and have a greater effect on muscle size, as opposed to taking each drug individually.