Effects of Steroids in High School Athletes – How to Avoid It

As a certified personal trainer & gym owner, I am very much concerned about the effects of steroids in our youth, especially high school athletes. I know what the negative effects of taking steroids are, not only physically but mentally and socially as well.
Steroids are the performance-enhancing substances that have caused more losses than wins in the life of High School athletes. “We have a serious steroids problem among our country’s youth.” Stated California state senator Jackie Speier, a Democrat from the Bay Area
Different reasons were raised why many adolescents use or abuse steroids.
1. To improve their athletic performance. Many athletes saw recourse to use performance enhancer substances because the pressure to win is enormous.
2. To increase their muscle size or to reduce their body fat. This group is suffering from the behavioral syndrome called muscle dysmorphia, people who think they have distorted figure. It is so alarming because according to a study, 9-to-11-year-old females use steroids to enhance their build too.
3. Part of a pattern of high-risk behaviors. Like the thrill that they get from drinking and driving, driving a motorcycle without a helmet, carrying a gun, and abusing other illicit drugs, taking steroids give that adrenaline they can’t explain.

How to Determine Steroid Abusers
Individuals who abuse steroids can experience withdrawal symptoms (like many other prohibited drugs) when they stop taking steroids, such as mood swings, restlessness, fatigue, insomnia, loss of appetite, reduced sex drive, and steroid cravings. Depression is the most dangerous of the withdrawal symptoms, because oftentimes it leads to suicide attempts.

What can be done to prevent steroid abuse?
According to the researchers who do the study on steroid educational programs, it has shown that simply teaching students about steroids’ undesirable effects does not convince them that they can be adversely affected, nor does such teaching discourage young people from taking steroids in the future. But presenting both the risks and benefits of using anabolic steroid is more effective in convincing them about steroids’ negative effects, apparently because the student-athletes find a balanced approach more credible.

Thanks to the effort of some groups and individuals like the New Anti-Steroid Measures that are being implemented in California and they are:
o A written policy that ban steroid use in which must be signed by all student-athletes and their parents/guardian. Violators would be subject to school penalties.
o Mandated training and education in muscle-building dietary supplements and steroids for the state’s coaches to help them spot steroid use and warn the players about the health dangers.
o A strict prohibition on school sponsorships from any muscle-building supplements. Encouraging or distributing muscle-building supplements from any school staff members would lead a ban for them. Violators would deal to personnel actions by their schools or districts.
Another thing is about the Adolescent Training and Learning to Avoid Steroids Program (ATLAS). It was designed to reduce the use of anabolic steroids among high school athletes. The program combined weight-training and classroom sessions, to teach students about nutrition, strength training, and risk factors for steroid use.

The Athletes Targeting Healthy Exercise and Nutrition Alternatives (ATHENA) program was modeled after the ATLAS program, but designed for adolescent athlete girls. Early study of girls enrolled in this program showed significant decreases in risky behaviors. ATHENA team members were more likely to wear seatbelts, less likely to ride in a car with a driver who had been drinking, less likely to be sexually active, and they experienced fewer injuries during the sports season.

With these initiatives for stopping the use of steroids in our young athletes, let’s make our own efforts, parents and guardians, to monitor closely our youngster and educate them in the caring informative way before it was too late…

Real Andrews is an actor by profession who is very passionate about the health and wellness industry, a Certified Personal Trainer & Gym Owner. He is very passionate about making a difference in the State of health in our Country. Visit his blog for more health-related articles.