Teens and Steroids: Is It Bad to Be Buff?

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Anabolic steroid use in teenagers is on the rise. Struggling with schoolwork and attending extra-curricular activities are merely a couple of reasons why teens turn to drugs. When my 16-year-old son started lifting weights and taking supplements one drug in particular raised a red flag. How bad could steroid use be? Commonly, the most used type is the anabolic steroid. This drug is what most body builders and professional athletes use. “'Anabolic' refers to muscle-building.’ Steroids' refers to the class of drugs” (Focus Adolescent Services, 2000). ). Testosterone, a hormone found in males, encourages the growth of muscle. This is what steroids are made of. “During the 1930s, scientists discovered that anabolic steroids could facilitate the growth of skeletal muscle in laboratory animals, which led to use of the compounds first by bodybuilders and weightlifters and then by athletes in other sports” (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2000). Males that use steroids. That may not sound appalling because testosterone is already in their body, but today, steroids are classified as a Class III drug. This class also includes heroin and cocaine. There are several ways that steroids can be introduced to the body. They can be taken orally, injected into the muscle or they can be rubbed into the skin in lotion or cream form. How they are used involves one of two techniques. One involves stacking. The user takes two or sometimes even three oral or injectable types at the same time. Users believe that if they mix different anabolic steroids, it will enhance the muscle building effects two fold. The doses taken by users can exceed the minimum used for medical reasons. In other words, use more of the drug, get results more rapidly. The other is pyramiding.

“Often, steroid users also "pyramid" their doses in cycles of 6 to 12 weeks. At the beginning of a cycle, the person starts with low doses of the drugs being stacked and then slowly...
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