Steroid Use Among Teenagers

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Introduction

According to Patrick Dixon in his article "The Truth About Steroids","2.5% of teenagers die each year due to steroid abuse. The number may seem low, but truth of the matter is that that number should be 0%. Is the risk of dying worth it to take steroids? Is it worth it to leave behind family, friends, and people who love you just because you wanted to have bigger muscles and supposedly get better at one sport? Unfortunately, these teens don't seem a ffected by that. And nowadays, teens are starting to take steroids more and more. They are looking at steroids as a great and quick way to gain muscle mass fast. What most of them don't know are the side effects that come with taking steroids. Steroid abuse among teenagers is a social problem because not only does it affect the abuser, but it affects the people who love them in their life. Why would you want to risk your life just to look a little bigger? Teens should start thinking of their peers and loved ones before they think about themselves. For more on the current status of teenage steroid abuse, visit http://www.teendrugabuse.us/teensteroids.html.

Anabolic Steroids

Most of teens and young adults are taking steroids called anabolic steroids. "Anabolic steroids are natural hormones that are produced by the body that help build muscle" (Kuhn). For teens, looking big and having that huge body is the most important thing in their life. Unfortunately, they don't really know what really goes on inside their bodies when they inject themselves with the drug. yes it is true that with the right diet and intense lifting regime, anabolic steroids can help you gain muscle. What they don't do is expand your tissues and at all. With your muscles getting bigger, anabolic steroids do not increse the size of tissues, thus making your tissues much more vulnerable to tearing. Torn muscles can end careers. Not manyt people want their career to end because they thought it would be a good idea to take anabolic steroids. Especially at such a young age, teens do not want the rest of their social life to end because they made the wrong choice.

Side Effects of Anabolic Steroids



The benefits of steroids can be very noticeable. Unfortunately, so can the side effects. Side effects can range anywhere from a little bit of acne, to death. "For male users side effects can include sterility, hair loss, acne reduction of sex drive, development of female-type breast tissue, atrophy of testicles and enlargement of prostate gland" (Worsnop). For teens, at such a young age it is important to keep growing and to keep developing your bones. While it is not scientifically proven, alot of eveidence does show that abusing steroids as a teen can stop your bone growth and limit your height. Another interesting thing that people overlook is that females also do take steroids. Not for the same reasons maybe, but females are still active users of steroids. "One-third of teen steroid users are girls, with 5% of high school girls and 7% of middle school girls" ("Steroid Use Among Teens"). "For female users, they may experience such undesireable side effecs as excessive growth of body and facial hair, deepening of the voice to a masculine timbre and enlargement of the clitoris" (Worsnop). For more on the reproductive side effects of abusing steroids, visit http://www.sportsci.org/encyc/anabstereff/anabstereff.html. Along with reproductive side effects to both men and women, "anabolic steroid use increases strians and tears on the tendons and ligaments connected to the muscle" (Kuhn). Teenagers just like you run an even bigger risk of side effects if they consume or inject steroids Anabolic steroids increase the testosterone levels in both male and female abusers, so "the rapid rise of testosterone in boys during puberty will make bones stop growing in some cases" (Kuhn). http://kidshealth.org/teen/food_fitness/sports/steroids.html is a useful site for the dangers and side effects on steroids. Most teenagers that I know do not want to stop growing at 5 feet tall and have a lower chance of having kids when they are older because of the decreased of sperm production caused by steroids. Truth of the matter is, in the long run, steroids do nothing but hurt the body. You see commercials on TV that show how steroids can make the body crumble. Steroids may be useful in short term but in the end, you only hurt your body. Your physical attributes may decrease due to acne increase, increase of facial hairs for girls, and hair loss at such a young age. Why would you want to start these side effects at your teenage years? There is no point. Make people respect you for who you are and be good at a sport because of your athletic ability. Not because of the fact that you injected yourself with steroids.

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Interesting Facts

  • 500,000 teens have tried steroids
  • From 1991 to 2003, the number of teens abusing steroids doubled to 6%
  • In 1990, 70% of teens say that steroids pose a great risk to the body
  • In 2004, those numbers dropped to 56% of teens ("Steroid Use Among Teens")
For more facts about steroids the NIDA for Teens has great information.

In Conclusion...

In conclusion, the social dissappointemnts are the main reason why no one, especially teenagers, should not take steroids. They don't only harm your body and put your life in danger. But they put others in danger too. WHy would you want to risk being that 2.5% of teenagers that die from abusing steroids? You would leave behind friends, family, and ones who love and care about you. Steriods will only cause harm. Don't affect your body. Don't affect your life. Don't end your life. Don't destroy lives of the ones that love you. Don't take steroids!

Works Cited



Works Cited
Kuhn, Cynthia. “The Goals and Risks of Bulking Up.” Opposing Viewpoints:Pumped. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2008. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Web. 2008. <http://www.find.galegroup.com/retrieve.do>
“Steroid Use Among Teens.” Facts On File World News Digest. 2005. Web. Jun., 2005. <http:/www.2facts.com/icof>
Worsnop, Richard L. “Athletes and Drugs.” July 26, 1991. CQ Researcher. Web. <http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/document.php>