Steroid Use Among High School Athletes
By Rob B.
The use of steroids has always been in talks among high school, college and even professional athletes since the early 1980s and 1990s.
Many student athletes are looking for that edge to compete at a higher level. Some youth athletes also are wanting the appearance of a brawnier, stronger appearance as well. The enormous pressure to perform in high school (and later college) impacts teenagers to look for ways to accomplish these goals. Enter anabolic steroids.
Having become very popular in Major League Baseball in the early 2000s, players began gaining muscle quickly and getting stronger, which resulted in hitting a lot more home runs. Big names like Barry Bonds, Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez were getting long term suspensions because of the use of steroids. Seven-time Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong, was stripped of all his medals in 2012 following a thorough investigation.
There is no bigger role model to a youth athlete trying to make it to the big leagues than an actual player in the big leagues. The result is that that those youth players end up doing what the professionals do.
Unfortunately, most kids are not aware of the dangers of using performance enhancers.
Steroids can cause negative effects on the brain that lead to mood swings and erratic behavior, paranoia, extreme and unreasonable jealousy, severe irritability, aggression, impaired judgment and delusional behavior. These drugs often cause severe acne and will cause the body to swell, specifically in the hands and feet. The long-term effects are worse and can include liver damage, kidney damage or failure, enlarged heart, high blood pressure, changes in blood cholesterol—all of which can lead to higher risk of stroke or heart attack, even in young people!
Furthermore, males can experience baldness, increased risk for prostate cancer, and shrinking of reproductive organs (plus other unpleasant side effects), while females can experience growth of facial hair, deepened voice, male-patterned baldness, changes in monthly cycle, etc. Teens may also notice stunted growth and stunted height.
They are putting themselves at risk because the pattern of cycling on and off these drugs interrupts their normal hormone levels. A national study shows in 2002, that 2.5% of 8th graders, 2.5% of 10th graders and 4% of 12th graders admitted to the use of steroids.
So, how do we stop this problem? It all starts with the parents and coaches of these athletes, reaching out to them about the negative effects of steroids. It is crucial to teach our youth the importance of gaining muscle and strength the natural way, working out on a daily and consistent basis, having a well-balanced diet and getting a proper amount of rest.
Rob graduated from Branford Hall Career Institute in 2014 with a NASM Certification. He has worked in the fitness industry for over four years and is excited to be with the Horizon team.
As a personal training professional, Rob hopes to share all he has learned over the years with his clients, to help them reach their goals.
Rob’s style of training is very personalized to each individual; he does not stick to one particular training style. Instead, he likes to use a variety of training techniques in each workout to help his clients reach their desired fitness and health goals.
His motto for his clients—that he can’t stress enough—is “Start Strong; Finish Stronger.”
Rob specializes in strength and conditioning athletes, weight/fat loss, muscle gain and nutrition. He has helped hundreds of clients reach their fitness goals!