Understanding to Health
Anabolic Steroids (sometimes referred to as performance-enhancing drugs) are synthetic substances that closely resemble testosterone, a naturally-occurring male hormone. They are commonly used by athletes and bodybuilders to increase muscle mass, enhance athletic performance, and improve physical appearance. It has been estimated that up to 6 million people in the United States are currently using anabolic steroid-containing products or supplements. While they may be beneficial to adult athletes, anabolic steroids pose significant health risks to adolescents – and in some cases, may even be lethal.
Effects of Anabolic Steroids on Adolescents
Hormonal Imbalances: Adolescent use of anabolic steroids can cause imbalances in essential hormones, particularly testosterone. This can lead to problems such as stunted growth and reproductive dysfunction. Increased body hair growth, premature balding and increased acne are also common side effects.
Cardiovascular Risk: Continued use of anabolic steroids can cause an increase in blood pressure, adversely affecting the cardiovascular system. This can further lead to stroke or heart attack, and even sudden death.
Psychological Impact: Repeated use of anabolic steroids can lead to mental health problems, including stress and mood swings. It can cause feelings of depression, increased aggression and even violent behavior.
Preventing Anabolic Steroid Use in Adolescents
Educating adolescents about the risks and dangers of anabolic steroids is the best way to prevent their use. Parents should talk openly to their children about the potential harms of the drugs, and emphasize the importance of exercising, eating a healthy diet and engaging in other healthy activities.
At the same time, any signs that your adolescent is using anabolic steroids – such as sudden changes in behavior and appearance – should be addressed immediately. If you are concerned that your child is using anabolic steroids, it is important to seek professional help to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your child.
The use of anabolic steroids by adolescents can lead to a range of serious health issues, and even death in some cases. Educating adolescents about the harms of anabolic steroid use is the most effective way to prevent its use and ensure the good health and wellbeing of our youth.