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“I have never used steroids. Period“ – Rafael Palmeiro 3/17/2005 PowerPoint Presentation
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“I have never used steroids. Period“ – Rafael Palmeiro 3/17/2005 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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“I have never used steroids. Period“ – Rafael Palmeiro 3/17/2005. What are steroids?. The proper name for “steroids” is anabolic-androgenic steroids , they are synthetic versions of the male sex hormone testosterone Anabolic refers to muscle-building Androgenic refers to male sex hormones

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Presentation Transcript
what are steroids
What are steroids?
  • The proper name for “steroids” is anabolic-androgenic steroids, they are synthetic versions of the male sex hormone testosterone
  • Anabolic refers to muscle-building
  • Androgenic refers to male sex hormones
  • Steroids are chemical substances derived from cholesterol, including estrogen (the female sex hormone)
  • Steroids can be taken orally or injected
  • There are over 100 kinds of steroids, the most common are anadrol, dianabol, winstrol, and deca-durabolin
why are steroids used
Why are steroids used?
  • Anabolic steroids build up muscle and bone mass along with decreasing the recovery time
  • Simply put, steroids work and they work fast – the biggest strength gains are observed in the first 3 weeks of use
  • Adding 25 lbs of muscle is not uncommon

“These kids were gaining 75 pounds on their bench press in a month or so“ – Dave Walls, former Plano Senior High football player (TX)

“I could grab a 10-foot-rim. I could jump a few inches higher than the rim. It kind of freaked me out at first” – Anonymous Colleyville High (TX) student-athlete

where do adolescents get steroids
Where do adolescents get steroids?
  • The most common source of steroids is from smuggling from other countries (such as Mexico and European countries)
  • Most high school students obtain steroids from friends, family, and other student- athletes
  • The Internet serves as a virtual hangout where teenagers and adults exchange information about buying and using steroids and pick up tips on managing side effects
  • Steroids are commonly known as roids, juice, arnolds, gym candy, strength trainers and gear

Prevalence of steroids in adolescents

  • 3.4% of 12th graders reported taking steroids at least once (NIDA research)
  • 2.5% of 10th graders and 1.6% of 8th graders reported taking steroids at least once
  • More than one million young people are taking steroids illegally
  • The secrecy surrounding steroid use makes it difficult to document the extent of the problem


Student Survey (CA high schools – March 2004)

Do you, or anyone you know take anabolic steroids?

Yes – 13% boys 10% girls

Are you personally aware of coaches or other sports related staff promoting the use of these substances?

Yes – 18% boys 7% girls

68,780 19,196


Who is taking steroids?

  • Surveys and studies show that steroid use is highest among senior boys and athletes
  • Male athletes overall are no more likely to use anabolic steroids than male non-athletes, only highly involved athletes are more likely to use steroids (one and half times more likely)
  • Studies have shown that growing numbers of young girls are beginning to use steroids, with usage at about 2% (highly involved female athletes are twice as likely to use steroids than non-athletes)

“It used to be bulimia was the fad choice … This is the new thing.... Now it's attractive to be thin and toned“ – Dr. Amanda Gruber, Psychiatrist at Harvard University Hospital


Reasons why adolescents take steroids

  • Athletic Performance
  • Increase Muscle Size/Reduce Body Fat
  • History of Physical Abuse
  • Part of a Pattern of At-Risk Behavior
  • A recent study found that more than half of boys ages 11 to 17 chose as their physical ideal an image possible to attain only by using steroids
  • Males are experiencing body image anxiety at increasingly younger ages
  • One-third of girls and almost as many boys said they frequently thought about wanting more toned or defined muscles


What are the adverse effects of steroids?

Long-term effects:

  • In adolescents, steroids can signal the bones to stop growing
  • Steroid abuse has been associated with cardiovascular diseases, even in athletes younger than 30
  • Steroids have been linked to liver and other forms of cancer
  • An undetermined percentage of steroid abusers become addicted to the drug and experience withdrawal symptoms

Short-term effects

  • Studies suggest that steroids increase irritability and aggression, it is known as “roid rage”
  • Steroids have been reported to cause mood swings, depression, distractibility, forgetfulness, and confusion
  • Acne, especially on the back, is a common side effect of steroids


Sex-specific adverse effects of steroids

In boys and men:

  • Reduced sperm production
  • Shrinking of testicles
  • Baldness
  • Irreversible breast enlargement

In girls and women:

  • Decreased breast size
  • Deepening of the voice
  • Body hair
  • Baldness
  • Menstrual irregularities


National programs for steroid prevention

  • Due to the secrecy surrounding steroid use and the relative small numbers of steroid users there are few local programs to prevent steroid use
  • NIDA’s “Game Plan” included launching a website, distribution of bulletins, posters, and other resources for information on steroids
  • NIDA supported the foundation of ATLAS and ATHETAS, gender specific model programs to prevent steroid abuse in Oregon High Schools
  • The research shows that incorporating peer-led drug abuse prevention and health promotion curricula into sport team settings is effective


Legislative approach for steroid prevention

  • California was the first state to establish steroid rules specifically for high-school students in 2005
  • CIF implemented 3 anti-steroids measures in 2005:
    • A written pledge signed by students
    • Mandated education and training in steroids and muscle-building dietary supplements for the state's coaches to help them spot steroid use and warn players about the health dangers
    • A prohibition on school sponsorships from any muscle-building supplements and a ban on any school staff members encouraging or distributing muscle-building supplements. Violators would be subject to personnel actions by their schools or districts
  • A handful of schools are already testing for steroids, including Brawley Union High (CA)
  • The high cost testing for steroids - $50 to $150 dollars per test – is the biggest deterrent for testing



  • The use of anabolic steroids in adolescents is particularly important because not all steroid users experience the same adverse effects, and many serious problems require months or years to develop
  • Young people should be educated anabolic steroids are dangerous drugs with realistic messages and not “scare tactics”
  • Experts suggest that even a limited random testing program is better than nothing
  • The research shows that incorporating peer-led drug abuse prevention and health promotion curricula into sport team settings is effective


Additional Resources