Anabolic Steroid Use Among High School Studentsby J. Frederick Garman, Waln brown
The illegal use and abuse of substances by high school students continues unabated. Underage drinkers consume massive amounts of beer, wine and liquor each year, and children and adolescents use or regularly abuse mind-altering drugs such as marijuana, amphetamine, LSD, cocaine, crack, and various other “controlled substances.” They are not only violating laws by… See more details below
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The illegal use and abuse of substances by high school students continues unabated. Underage drinkers consume massive amounts of beer, wine and liquor each year, and children and adolescents use or regularly abuse mind-altering drugs such as marijuana, amphetamine, LSD, cocaine, crack, and various other “controlled substances.” They are not only violating laws by taking these drugs, they also are gambling with their health.
Similar problems exist for another series of drugs that are growing in popularity among high school students – anabolic steroids. These drugs are not taken to alter the mind but, rather, to alter the body. Their use and abuse is an attempt to increase muscle size and strength and enhance athletic performance.
High school students use anabolic steroids for many reasons. Most use them to get stronger and grow more muscle so they can become better athletes. Others use them for cosmetic purposes, to develop their physiques further and to look strong and healthy. Although the reasons for using anabolic steroids may seem “harmless,” these drugs have a dangerous effect on the user’s health. Steroid users are trading short-term gains in their physiques for long-term health problems, many of which are irreversible – including premature death.
Anabolic steroids adversely affect more than the user’s physical health; psychological and social problems also usually result. There is a heightened potential for aggressive behavior. Family relationships become strained. Friendships disintegrate. School performance suffers. As the user becomes more involved with the physical changes anabolic steroids promote, psychological dependency occurs.
Anabolic steroids should only be prescribed and dispensed by licensed physicians and pharmacists. Many state governments have classified steroids as a “controlled substance,” making them illegal. Thus, high school students who use anabolic steroids must buy these drugs from non-medical sources. By purchasing “off the streets,” they are using anabolic steroids without proper supervision, further complicating the potential dangers associated with these drugs.
Anabolic steroids are dangerous drugs. Their use by humans for non-medical purposes presents moral, ethical, social, psychological and physical problems that users, parents, coaches, teachers, physicians and others must understand and resolve.
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