Have you heard of all those pro athletes that have gotten busted for using steroids? Steroids are drugs that make you bulk up and gain tons of muscle and testosterone without actually working for it. It’s illegal and it’s cheating. Unfortunately, there have been a lot of pro athletes that have used steroids to get stronger and better at their sport… But sometimes high school students even use steroids, too.
Although the percentage of high school students who use steroids is relatively low (1% of female students and about 12% of male students), that number is growing. People use steroids to either improve their sports performance or the way they look, but usually it’s for sports.
The type of steroids that people use to gain tons of muscle are called anabolic-androgenic steroids. Anabolic refers to the steroids ability to develop muscle, and androgenic refers to their role in promoting the development of male sexual characteristics (testosterone). These steroids are usually made up of synthetic substances similar to testosterone, which is how they cause people to build so much muscle, grow more facial hair, get deeper voices, etc. In some cases, doctors do prescribe steroids to people who have unusually low levels of testosterone. But otherwise, they’re illegal.
A couple of “street names” for steroids are juice and roids, and they’re taken either from pills or needles. People who use steroids illegally usually take doses that are 10-100 times higher than what doctors prescribe patients for medical reasons.
So, what exactly is so bad about steroids? Here are some of the health consequences:
- stunted growth
- weight gain
- sleeping problems
- greater chance of getting injured
- blood clots
- kidney impairment/failure
- damage to the liver
- cardiovascular problems: enlargement of heart, high blood pressure, changes in cholesterol leading to increased risk of stroke and heart attack
- weakened immune system
- for guys: reduced sperm count, infertility, baldness, development of breasts, increased risk of prostate cancer
- for girls: growth of facial hair, male-pattern baldness, changes in menstrual cycle, permanently deepened voice
- possibly death
On top of all of that, steroids can always have a huge effect on your behavior. You could start experiencing mood swings, manic-like symptoms leading to violence, depression, irritability, paranoia, delusions, and impaired judgment.
If somebody you know is using steroids, here’s what you can do:
- Tell a trusted adult, like a parent, teacher, counselor, or coach.
- Talk to them. Tell them about the health risks that go along with using steroids, and that it’s really not worth it.
- Call the Treatment Referral Hotline at 1-800-662-HELP. They can refer you to local treatment facilities, support groups, and other organizations that can help.
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. They can help you with all kinds of issues besides suicide.
If you want to be a star athlete, don’t cheat… you need to work for it! You just need to train, eat, and practice the healthy way. Don’t use drugs to help you reach your goals.
So what are you dressing up as for Halloween?
I know that Halloween is here and you are all looking for the best costume, including that set of teeth to bring it all together. Unfortunately these teeth are not for sale at your local costume shop, but they do come free with a meth habit.
In honor of Halloween I thought you might want to check out these real scary faces. This link will take you to “Got Meth?” where you can check out what Meth will do to you.
Don’t trick or treat with Meth, it is definitely no Treat!
We have all done it: the prank call. Many a middle school student has inquired of a random phone number whether or not his refrigerator was running just to tell him to go catch it. This type of prank should eventually die out with the invention of caller identification and other methods to track down telephone pranksters. Those that still attempt this time-honored tradition know that even during the most ridiculous of prank calls, there is a line that one just does not cross.
One young man in New York state crossed that line big time. According to a news report, he used a radio to call the local Sheriff’s Department and report an auto accident, claiming that a person was trapped. After authorities figured out that there was no accident, they tracked down the foolish 18-year-old and arrested him. His excuse for his horrible behavior? He had been smoking weed and was “not thinking clearly.”
The lesson to learn here, and the main point of this blog entry is this: drug use will cause you to do supremely stupid things. Far more dangerous than the effects of the drugs themselves are the insanely idiotic decisions one will make while high. One looses the ability to make good decisions and many times cannot control himself. This story is just another example of the endless accounts of drugs causing supreme stupidity. At least this story did not end with someone loosing his life; the next story you hear, maybe even your own story, may end that way.
This week 80’s teen “heart-throb” Cory Haim died. Haim had dealt with drug abuse for years, and this drug use is suspected (although not yet confirmed) in his death. While there are many things one could learn by looking at the life of this troubled celebrity, one thing stands out to this blogger: a lifelong pattern of drug problems which originated in his teenage years.
He passed away at 38 years of age and has been battling drug problems since he was a teen. He has been in rehab, had relapses, and had depression issues. His close friend Cory Feldman called him a “tormented soul.”
Using drugs as a teenager is far more dangerous than one may think. If you even survive while abusing drugs, you are beginning a lifelong battle for control of yourself. You may think you can quit tomorrow “if you really wanted to,” but understand that by using drugs as a teen you are establishing a pattern that doesn’t just go away. Here is a saying to remember: “What you will become, you are now becoming. ” You don’t change as a person just because your circumstances change. You may think that you will straighten out when you get to college. Maybe you think you will clean up after you get your career underway, or when you get married, or when you become a parent. It doesn’t work that way.
Unfortunately, the reality is that life is like drying cement. When someone walks across wet cement they leave footprints. If the cement is immediately smoothed out it can be fixed, but if left to dry those footprints will become permanent. This is also true of life. The more that time progresses the more permanent things become. The longer you have a lifestyle of drug use, the more permanent that lifestyle will become. Don’t let your cement dry with the footprints of drugs. If you do, you will struggle for the rest of your life.
As a youth prevention specialist, this blogger did not like reading the following statement in an article from JoinTogether.org: “A new report finds that more kids say they are using alcohol and other drugs.” This is the news coming from a study done by Partnership for a Drug Free America. Alcohol and marijuana use has risen, but even more shocking is the increased use of ecstasy, which is up by 67%!!!
The cause seems to be the tough times that have befallen America. Families are struggling to make it in this difficult economy. There is a tremendous amount of stress with which to deal and teens are looking for an escape. Unfortunately, they don’t realize that this temporary fix can have permanent consequences.
If you are a teen and you are having a rough time right now, getting high is not the answer. There are tons of other ways to have some fun and get your mind off of your troubles. Shoot some hoops, play some video games, listen to your favorite music, or hang out with your friends (who aren’t drinking or doing drugs). There are countless things you can do that do not involve drinking, drugs, or money. If you are a parent of a teen, make sure to devote some extra time and care to you son or daughter, and keep a close watch on their behavior. Teens feel family stress too and will greatly benefit from some quality time with the family. Despite all that a family may be lacking because of hardship, they still have each other.