Roids Are The Rage
As kids head back to school and engage in team sports, parents, teachers, and coaches need to get out of ostrich mode and keep an eye out for steroid use.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, some high school and even middle school students are using steroids to gain a competitive edge, improve their skill level, or become stronger. And steroid use is not limited to boys. Girls, too, are putting themselves at risk by using these drugs.
Called ‘roids, juice, hype, or pump, anabolic steroids are powerful drugs used to boost athletic performance. Steroids are easily found on the Internet. Kids who want them can find them, often unaware that many substances sold as anabolic steroids, particularly via the Internet, are diluted, contaminated, or fake.
We must be mindful, too, of over-the-counter dietary supplements with similar chemical properties sold at health food stores. OTC supplements like creatine and androstenedione ( “andro”) are popular with teen athletes because of manufacturers’ claims that these supplements build muscle and improve strength and stamina without the side effects of steroids. These substances, however, are not regulated by the FDA, and like steroids, are banned by the NFL, NCAA, and International Olympic Committee.
What to watch for? Quick weight and muscle gain, aggressive behavior known as “roid rage” and depression, jaundice, persistent foul breath odor, severe acne breakouts and oily skin are just a few warning signals. Talk with your family practitioner to learn the full range of signs and symptoms of steroid use.
We all want to think, “Not my kid” or â€œNot my athletes,” but it’s time to get serious about steroids and the breadth of their usage and the depth of their danger.