Performance Enhancing Drugs Find Space on Teens’ Must-have List

One thing that never misses to create a buzz during a sports extravaganza, like the recently concluded Rio de Janeiro Olympics, is the use of performance enhancement drugs (PEDs) by athletes. The embargo on Russian athletes to participate in the 2016 Olympics took the matter to the next level.

PEDs are substances used to improve any form of activity and athletes use them to improve their performance on the field. But most of the substances used by athletes are banned substances, notorious as doping in the sports world.

However, the use of PEDs is not limited to sportspersons or those who participate in physical activity, as there are many users who are not athletes. The use of PEDs is also common among teenagers which is a matter of concern. Many teenagers seem to use PEDs to improve their performance during sports competitions.

Alan Rogol, M.D., Ph.D., a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, told Medscape, “People who will progress to use of long-term, hard-core steroids usually begin at age 22–24 years. On the other hand, teenagers who use PEDs typically only do so intermittently and transiently. Use is much higher in boys than girls.”

Use not limited to improvement in sports

Experts are worried by the fact that many teens are using PEDs every day and this can turn into a national problem soon. According to the Endocrine Society, approximately 2 percent U.S. high school students reported using androgenic anabolic steroids in the previous 12 months. Dr. Rogol said that not all of these students use PEDs for athletic improvement. Rather, most of them use them to enhance their looks.

So, the use of PEDs is no longer restricted to sportspersons. It draws equal appeal among teens who want to look good. The irony is that these teenagers are not aware of the deadly consequences of using PEDs, Dr. Rogol added.

Side effects of PEDs

The side effects of PEDs are too many to counter them with their positive effects. Some of the negative effects on girls include acne, hirsutism and disordered menstrual function.

Dr. Rogol said that very few people take anabolic steroids orally and they usually inject testosterone which increases the risk of fatal diseases, such as hepatitis and AIDS. Teens are mostly oblivious of these grave consequences and, at times, even if they understand the problems, they tend to ignore them. Other effects of PEDs include muscle mass increase and gynecomastia. Adolescents tend to become overly aggressive due to their use.

Addressing use of PEDs among teens

Keeping a tab on teens is a round-the-clock job, both for the parent and the school authorities. Any unnatural development should not be ignored and should be addressed immediately as this can worsen the situation. Teens suspected of using PEDs should be taken to an adult endocrinologist for a screening and, if necessary, for subsequent treatment. However, for younger kids, one should consult a pediatric endocrinologist.

Recovery road map

Addiction can be a challenge to deal with. Whether it is an addiction to PEDs or any illicit substance, the end results are always the same. When an addiction becomes chronic, it entails more complicated withdrawal symptoms and treatment becomes difficult. So intercepting any addiction at the beginning holds the key to a long-term recovery.

If a loved one is grappling with an addiction, contact the Texas Drug Addiction Treatment to connect to the best drug addiction treatment in Texas. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855–980–5757 to avail the services of quality drug addiction treatment centers in Texas where treatment is comprehensive and recovery long-term.

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