Many teenagers get involved with steroid use because they don’t have any role models to look up to. Nearly all athletes and professional bodybuilders have dabbled with steroids to enhance their performance. In fact, many of these bodybuilders earn millions just because they have great bodies created by steroids. The media must also accept their part of the blame because they rarely mention the dangerous side effects of steroids.
It helps to understand steroids when looking at why they’re so dangerous when abused. They are synthetic, or manmade, hormones similar to testosterone, the male sex hormone, with the ability of creating fast muscles. Also known as anabolic or androgenic steroids, they’re different from the corticosteroids used to treat asthma and inflammation in the body. Androgenic steroids aren’t legal in many countries, although corticosteroids have been used for many years in treating various health conditions.
Teenage steroid abuse is increasing rapidly, particularly in high schools. It used to be that only football players and wrestlers took steroids, but now even teens that aren’t playing sports take them to improve the look of their bodies. It’s not surprising since teenagers are very image conscious.
Most parents have no clue their teens are taking steroids, and it’s easier than they think for kids to buy steroids. However, there are quite a few warning signs that stand out in alerting parents that their teens are on steroids. The first, and most obvious, is rapid muscle growth. If a teen is gaining muscles within a very short period of time, parents need to be concerned. Females will experience hair loss, but will grow more facial hair, as well as start speaking in a deeper voice. Males will start to grow breasts while experiencing increased moodiness and aggressiveness. Both can show acne and jaundice. Psychological signs include confusion, euphoria, hallucinations, anxiety, sleeping issues, and paranoia.
It’s important not to panic if you notice these symptoms in your teenager. Instead, sit down and talk to him or her in a friendly manner. Avoid getting confrontational. Teenagers can be quite rebellious and won’t listen to anything you say if you approach in this manner. Do all you can to make them understand the dangers of steroid use.
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