Archive for category Steroid Abuse

Dealing With Teen Steroid Abuse

Parents are normally faced with teen problems because it is at this stage that children would be exploring so many things. They may feel they are old enough to do certain things, and peer pressure is an even bigger problem to deal with. As a result, many of them succumb to teen steroid abuse and other forms of addiction.

In this article, we will discuss teen steroid abuse, and how to deal with it, in case it happens to a teenager in your family or community.

teen steroid abuse body image

Background on Teen Drug Abuse

Most often, teens would come to their friends for comfort and acceptance because they do not feel the sense of belonging in their own families. Venting out their problems to friends gives them a feeling of satisfaction and greatness.

Being around people that could be a positive influence to these teens will definitely help enrich their lives. But sometimes, what happens is otherwise. When teens hang out with the wrong kind of group, they end up as delinquents.

On this day and age, we know how young as 13 years old are already hooked on certain types of drugs. They may either be unaware of the ill effects it would do to their bodies, or they choose to ignore the truth. Either way, long-term use of any kind of drug will affect their overall well-being.

What are steroids?

Steroids are organic compounds that the body normally produces. They act by helping organs, tissues and cells to do their specific functions.

Steroids, however, can also refer to man-made medicines. These may be categorized under two kinds:

Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids are generally used to treat asthma, arthritis, autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and lupus, some forms of cancer, and skin disorders such as rashes and eczema.

The risk of having side effects would depend on the type of steroid, dose, age and length of treatment. There are different forms of corticosteroids with varying side effects:

Oral Steroids

This type of corticosteroid may be used for less than three weeks without causing any side effects. However, there are certain conditions which might require taking them longer.

Oral steroids that have been taken for more than one week may cause:

  • Acne
  • Increased appetite
  • Muscle weakness
  • Rapid mood wings
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Easily bruised

Steroid Injections

There is usually pain and swelling on the area where the steroid has been injected but usually disappears within two days. It is because of these side effects that steroid injection is given at 6-week intervals and only with a maximum of three injections into one area.

Application of steroid injection may cause any of the following:

  • Muscle and tendon weakness
  • Blushing
  • Thinning and lightening of the skin on the injected area

Steroid Inhalers

A very common side effect after using steroid inhalers is the formation of oral thrush or fungal infection in the mouth cavity. It is advised to rinse the mouth with water after using steroid inhalers.

Some of its side effects include:

  • Cough
  • Hoarse voice
  • Minor nosebleeds
  • Sore mouth and throat

Most of these side effects usually stop as soon as you have lowered the dose or have completely stopped taking them.

anabolic steroid injection

Anabolic steroids

Anabolic steroids are synthetic substances usually given as treatment for delayed puberty and to those who have difficulty in producing testosterone.

These are also commonly referred to as performance-enhancing drugs, often used by athletes. It works by increasing muscle strength and mass and enhances bone strength.

Anabolic steroids are currently classified as Schedule III controlled substances. Anyone caught using steroids without a prescription or those who may be using steroids with an expired prescription may be labeled as a steroid abuser. This has been reinforced in 2004 by the Anabolic Steroid Act of 1990.

Long-term use of anabolic steroid may destroy normal production of testosterone. Its effect differs between men and women.

Decreased testosterone levels in men may lead to:

  • Lower sperm count
  • Infertility
  • Smaller testicles
  • Breast growth

Meanwhile, decreased testosterone in women may lead to:

  • Facial hair growth
  • Amenorrhea
  • Deeper voice
  • Male-pattern baldness
  • Enlarged clitoris

When anabolic steroids are used in higher doses, it can cause damage to the heart, liver, and kidneys. It can also increase your bad cholesterol which can cause heart attack or stroke regardless of age.

Teens using anabolic steroids may experience stunting of bone growth and height.

Commonly abused steroids other than testosterone are:

  • Androstenedione
  • Boldenone
  • Decanoate
  • Methandrostenalone
  • Mestanolone
  • Methyltestosterone
  • Nandrolone
  • Oxandrolone
  • Oxymetholone
  • Stanozolol
  • Trenbolone

A number of common street names for anabolic steroids include the following:

  • A-bomb
  • Arnolds
  • Gear
  • Gym candy
  • Pumpers
  • Stackers
  • Test
  • Weight Trainers
  • Winnie

Why are steroids being abused?

Anabolic steroids are given as treatment only with a doctor’s prescription. However, some individuals would use illegal anabolic steroids as a means to increase their muscle mass, lower body fat, and increase strength. It has become a means for athletes to improve on how they play the sport.

An earlier study discovered that females who are taking anabolic steroids were rape victims in the past. Since the assault, they wanted to increase their strength and build bigger muscles to intimidate any possible perpetrators.

From a series of interviews conducted on bodybuilders, it was known that at least 25% of the bodybuilders have encountered physical or sexual abuse during their childhood.

Another group of steroid users are those who want to lose body fat. These people are actually looking at themselves as fat and weak but in reality, they have normal-looking bodies. This is a behavioral condition called muscle dysmorphia.

Steroid abuse can cause the following:

  • Very bad acne
  • Fluid retention
  • Jaundice
  • Trembling
  • Halitosis
  • Aching joints

teen body image steroid use

Facts and Figures on Teen Steroid Abuse

The number of teens who may be involved in illegal drugs may have significant decreased in the past two years. However, teens account for the 75% steroid users in the country.

According to the 2016 Monitoring the Future Study, a stable or slight decline of anabolic steroid use in teens was observed, except for 12th graders.

Here are the rates of steroid use among middle school students:

  • 1% among 8th
  • 2% among 10th graders.
  • 3% among 12th graders.

Steroid use among these teens are no longer much involved with sports as they have seen that teens use this substance as a means of enhancing their looks. These adolescents want to feel accepted by others that they go to such great lengths just to make themselves look and feel good about themselves.

Here are more statistics and figures on teen steroid abuse:

  • It has been estimated that about 1.5 million kids in the U.S. have tried steroids. In some cases, these teens may be using more than one steroid at a time. This is a very dangerous process called stacking.
  • Anabolic steroid users are 12 times more likely to have used cocaine.
  • Alcohol is the most common substance mixed with steroid use.
  • Boys are more likely to use anabolic steroids than girls.
  • Teens who have been prescribed with steroids to help them with their growth would sometimes resell these steroids to their classmates, which is a common way for teens to earn some money to buy illegal drugs.
  • About 2.5% of females have tried anabolic steroids at least once.
  • Females use steroids as weight loss supplement.

Effects of Steroids on the Brain

Steroid use can affect the brain’s limbic system, which is responsible for controlling mood. It has been observed that long-term steroid use may lead to the inability to control mood, thereby resulting to mood swings, as well as increased levels of hostility and aggression.

Long-term teen steroid abuse may also cause the following psychological conditions such as:

  • Delusions
  • Feeling invisible
  • Jealousy
  • Paranoia

Signs of Possible Steroid Abuse

It is likely that a teen is taking steroids when you suddenly see these changes:

  • Severe acne
  • Short temper and aggression (also called “roid rage”)
  • Mood swings
  • Stunted growth
  • Hallucinations
  • Missing school
  • Unhealthy amount of competitiveness
  • Abnormal increase in muscle mass

To check if someone is using steroids, check on the person’s bag or bedroom drawers for vials, resealable plastic bags or hypodermic needles. Steroids can be bought from the internet or acquired from friends.

steroid abuse fitness

How to Approach a Teen Suspected of Steroid Abuse

If you hint that your teen may be abusing any substance, it is best to talk to him/her calmly rather than become hostile. It is in no way an appropriate approach to anyone, regardless of what kind of issue that needs to be resolved.

Most often, teens turn to drugs because they feel lost and unloved by the family. Sometimes, we could not blame them for feeling that way because some parents have become awfully busy with their jobs that they barely have time to check on what is happening to their children and just rely on the fact that they know that the kids are home. More often than not, children just need their parents’ affirmation to make them feel secure.

When talking to them, here are some basic things that you can start asking or telling your kids:

  • Ask your teen what could be causing him/her to be doing drugs or if there is something that he/she would want you to know about.
  • Provide solutions to the problems presented.
  • Know the extent of involvement of your teen with the illegal substance.
  • Inform him/her about the consequences of his/her act – physically and psychologically.
  • Make your teenage children aware of the laws and penalties governing teen steroid abuse.

If in case your teen is heavily hooked, let him know that he needs the help of a rehabilitation center so that he may be completely treated and return to his normal life once again.

Treatment for Teen Steroid Abuse

The treatment for teen steroid abuse is the same as treating those who have had other forms of substance addiction. The help of a rehabilitation center is needed most especially that withdrawal symptoms may be unbearable to be treated at home.

Such withdrawal symptoms may last for weeks. Unfavorable symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Intense cravings

Clinical depression is linked to steroid withdrawal. This is a very difficult stage wherein the individual has the possibility of harming himself to the point of committing suicide.

Depression may remain for a time even after years of stopping steroid use. During this stage, it is important that the individual continues to undergo psychological treatment from an addiction counselor. A very effective way in helping recovering addicts gain their lives back is for their families and friends to show love and support.

Helpful Links and Sources

http://drugabuse.com/library/the-effects-of-steroid-use

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Corticosteroid-(drugs)/Pages/Sideeffects.aspx

http://www.medicinenet.com/corticosteroids-oral/article.htm

https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/infographics/monitoring-future-2016-survey-results

http://www.anabolicsteroids.net/roid-rage.php

https://www.congress.gov/bill/101st-congress/house-bill/4658

https://www.anred.com/musdys.html

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Male Teen Athletes Increase Likelihood of Doping When Experiencing Parental Pressure

If your son is taking interest in sports at school, be careful not to pressure them too much, because a recent study revealed a link between parental pressure and the likelihood of doping.

teen football male athletes dopingThis was discovered by a team of researchers from the University of Kent in England, after conducting a survey on close to 130 male student athletes with an average age of 17. The participants were asked about their opinions on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the form of stimulants, hormones, or steroids. The student athletes were also asked about their response to four forms of honing perfection: self-motivation, fear of making mistakes, pressure from school coach, and pressure from parents.

Of the four modes of perfectionism, parental pressure was the only option that led to a student’s tendency to dope. The research team believes that this is a serious and dangerous issue, considering that parents may have extremely high expectations from their children. “With the rise of so-called ‘tiger’ parenting — where strict and demanding parents push their children to high levels of achievement — this study reveals the price young athletes may choose to pay to meet their parents’ expectations and dreams,” said study lead author Daniel Madigan in a news release.

Sports event officials and referees are aware of this stigma on student athletes, but parents also need to be equally careful. “The problem of pressure from parents watching their children play sports is widely known, with referees and sporting bodies highlighting the difficulties and taking steps to prevent it,” Madigan added.

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FDA: Steroids Found In ‘Mass Destruction’ Food Supplement

You better think twice about taking that food supplement, because it might harm you more than protect you.

mass destructionEarlier this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement warning the public about a dietary supplement labeled as “Mass Destruction”, which was recently found by the agency to have a “synthetic anabolic steroid“. Overuse of steroids have been discovered as one of the reasons behind liver failure.

In fact, this decision by the FDA stemmed from a recent fatality due to liver malfunction reportedly caused by the identified food supplement. The Department of Health and Human Services in North Carolina reported via a news release that the victim, 28 years of age, needed a liver transplant after weeks of taking Mass Destruction.

The agency said that Mass Destruction should not be ingested further, especially those who are already taking the product on a regular basis. Consumers of the supplement should consult their doctor if they experience any of the following: pain in the abdomen or back, fatigue, or urine discoloration.

In addition, the FDA’s Office of Compliance issued this statement regarding dietary supplements: “Products marketed as supplements that contain anabolic steroids pose a real danger to consumers… The FDA is committed to ensuring that products marketed as dietary supplements and vitamins do not pose harm to consumers.”

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Study Finds Connection Between Steroid Use and Mental Health Problems

Anabolic steroid is widely used by teenagers and professional athletes to beef up their muscles and enhance physical strength. However, a new Swedish study concluded that such performance-enhancing drug can have certain effect in the user’s mental health later in life.

steroid abuseResearchers from the University of Gothenberg studied a group of former Swedish athletes to look for links between anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) use and mental problems. Of the nearly 700 wrestlers, weightlifters, powerlifters and throwers who competed at the elite level sometime between 1960 and 1979, 20 percent admitted using steroids during their active careers.

The researchers found that athletes who have used steroids were more likely to have been treated for depression, concentration problems, and aggressive behaviour. AAS users were also  considered high-risk users other banned substances.

“What we were able to show, though, is that psychiatric symptoms and use of steroids and other drugs tend to reinforce each other in a vicious cycle,” Claudia Fahlke, director at CERA, said in a news release. “This suggests that the anti-doping efforts remain very important, both in and outside of sports.”

The study was recently published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

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5 Interesting Facts About Steroids Misuse

A recent survey by The Gallup Organization found that even though many American adults think steroid abuse has some negative side effects, only a few actually consider it as a big problem among high school students. This finding shows an obvious disconnect between what Americans know about steroids and the public’s view of it as  a problem among teenagers in general.

At this point, you’ve probably heard enough on why athletes use steroids or about the short- and long-term effects of anabolic steroids. So is there anything else you might still be missing?

Read on and find out.

steroidsFact # 1: Anabolic steroid use affects fat distribution in the body.
It’s common knowledge that bodybuilders often resort to anabolic steroids and other performance enhancing drugs to bulk up, but a Swedish study found that doing so could lead to dangerous fat distribution in the body. According to the researchers at Lulea University of Technology and Umea University, weight lifters who actively use anabolic steroids have more dangerous fat distribution in their body which raises their chances of suffering from strokes and heart attacks. The study involved ten elite lifters and the finding was published in the 2012 edition of The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research.

Fact # 2: Anabolic steroid use may cause severe kidney injury
It’s true that anabolic steroids can help you gain muscle mass and strength, but this doesn’t come without damaging your kidney. A 2009 research published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology revealed that habitual use of anabolic steroids has harmful effects on the kidney that were not previously recognized. But the good news is, there’s still a good chance that such kidney abnormalities can be improved by quitting steroids use.

Fact # 3: Steroid use are increasing among females and non-athletes
Gone are the days when steroids are only used by men and females who want to gain competitive advantage in sports. In fact, teen girls were found to be the fastest growing group of new steroids users. A 2003 national survey of more than 7,000 female high school students found that 5.3 percent of 9th to 12th graders had used steroids for non-medical reasons. Many of these girls were not even athletes. Experts said that girls who use steroids are also at greater risk of engaging in other problematic behaviors, such as attempting suicide, teenage pregnancy, and use of other illegal substances.

Fact # 4: Teens use steroids to look physically appealing
A lot of teens are heavily influenced by what they see from movie stars and the desire to achieve similar adoration from other people. Add to that is the presence of social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, wherein posting pictures have become a favorite pastime. Any teen would feel a heightened sense of confidence when their friends tell them they’re looking great. So to address their body image issues, some teens would go the easy route which is using steroids.

Fact # 5: It takes less than 5 seconds to find steroids for sale on the Internet
Obtaining steroids has become very easy with the Internet around. Teens just type in a few steroid-related keywords and they can access dozens of sites that sell steroids. An infographics on Taylor Hooton Foundation showed that it only takes 1 second for a student to locate steroids for sale online, with 40 percent of the high school seniors admitting it’s so easy to obtain the drug nowadays.

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Is Justin Bieber Abusing Steroids?

Justin Bieber first caught media attention back in 2008 as this cute, very talented singing sensation that could easily sweep many girls off their feet. His voice and smooth moves earned him fame and fortune any teenager could only envy. But attached to such popularity is the need to maintain the adorable looks that many fans have come to love him.

is justin beiber using steroidsBarely 20, Bieber now sports wider chest, remarkable shoulders, toned biceps, and great abs. Somehow, observers can’t help but wonder if he’s into steroids use, especially considering the erratic and more aggressive behaviors he has been displaying lately.

According to Celebrity Health & Fitness, Bieber has been inspired by the gains Taylor Lautner made to bulk up for his role as werewolf Jacob Black in the “Twilight” movie saga. In fact, so inspired that he sought Lautner’s trainer to help him achieve similar gains.

Even though Beiber maintained religiously “working out in the gym” and despite the lack of admission that he was into steroids, his Instagram photos and recent display of aggressions have become media fancy.

It can be remembered that Beiber was kicked out of a nightclub on his 19th birthday; kept his fans in London waiting for nearly two hours before he appeared on stage; collapsed on stage at another London show; fought with photographers and cancelled a show in Portugal. Most recently, he allegedly screamed at and spit on his neighbor when he was confronted for reckless driving, the article notes.

Steroids use is nothing new in the entertainment industry, as much as it is widely used in professional sports. After all, music and movie celebrities are always expected to look good for their fans.

In addition to enhancing muscles, steroids are known to cause aggressive acts, mood disturbances, and poor decision-making. Other symptoms of steroid abuse include depression, muscle cramps, aching joints, and insomnia. It could also increase one’s risk to cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and certain cancer.

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