Teenagers and Steroids
There is a lot of talk in the media about teens and steroids and how steroid abuse is doing so much damage to the lives of young people. It’s almost as if steroid use has reached almost epidemic proportions among teenagers.
Let’s separate fact from fiction here.
Yes, teens should not be taking steroids and no, contrary to popular perception, steroid use is not all that common among teenagers. In fact, if you’re a parent, you should have other things to worry about.
According to a survey conducted by the National Institute of Drug Abuse in 2010 only 1.6% of 10th Graders and 2% of 12th Graders take steroids. They shouldn’t be doing that, of course, but they shouldn’t be smoking, drinking or taking marijuana either.
- 33% of 10th Graders and 42% of 12th Graders smoke cigarettes.
- 33.4% of 10th Graders and 43.8% of 12th Graders indulge in marijuana.
- 58.2% of 10th Graders and 71% of 12th Graders drink alcohol.
Why Teens Should Not Take Steroids?
Steroids are extremely dangerous for teens and should only be taken by adults with well developed bodies. Teenagers are still growing and developing and the last thing they should be doing is taking steroids, as that interferes with their natural growth process.
Steroids have a negative effect on their natural androgen production. It enhances their puberty rate unnaturally, which is not recommended. Also, it has an effect on their mental state, making them feel anxious or depressive when they decide to give up taking steroids.
This is true only when teens take steroids, not when adults take them. That’s because an adult’s body is already well developed and their androgen system is very mature.
Also, when teens stop taking steroids this leads to an alarming drop in their testosterone levels. Even when their natural androgen production is restored later, the rate of the production is much slower.
What about the Influence of Professional Athletes on Teens and Steroid Use?
Are teens influenced into taking steroid themselves by these professional athletes who they idolize and look up to? Not really, let’s look at the facts here.
Over 6 million adults in America take anabolic steroids, and only about 10 to 15% of them are athletes. Most people who take steroids do so to build muscle, burn fat, increase stamina, improve strength and not to take part in competitive sports.
Teenage is a time when one is highly impressionable. But as everyone knows the professional athletes that are caught taking banned steroids are banned from their sports and hounded by the media. That’s a career killer for them. Surely, teens would know that as well. That probably explains why steroid use in teens is far lower than alcohol abuse or addiction to smoking or marijuana, as said earlier.
As a parent, you should make sure that your teen doesn’t do anything that causes self-harm such as steroid abuse. But just because one should protect teens from taking steroids does not make it right to ban responsible adults from taking them. That’s the short point we want to make here.