The drive to be a better athlete or the desire to be more “attractive” have prompted many teenagers across the United States to turn to steroids to help them get where they think they need to be. Unfortunately, the consequences of relying on steroids to enhance athletic performance or boost the physique have proven to be quite dangerous, especially among America’s teenage population. According to A. Mohamadi, M.D., a medical officer at the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products, the developing bodies of teenagers are at more risk of being adversely affected by steroids.
In the Youth Risk and Behavior Surveillance System Study, an alarming number of teenagers were found to be trying anabolic steroids, as indicated below:
- 4.9% of high school males in the U.S. have used an anabolic steroid at least once. That’s 375,000 young men.
- 2.4% of high school females in the U.S. have used an anabolic steroid at least once. That’s 175,000 young women.
Perhaps more alarming is the ease with which teenagers are finding access to anabolic steroids. Licensed practitioners are commonly known to prescribe steroids to late-blooming boys as a means of introducing puberty and stimulating growth. Clinic and black market street dealers have made it even easier for curious teenagers to obtain anabolic steroids. There are even some online vendors that sell these anabolic steroids without a prescription. To further complicate the issue, some body-building supplements on the market have been found to unlawfully contain steroids or steroid-like substances without including the ingredients on the product’s label.
The side effects of steroids are wide-ranging, often resulting in serious damage to one or more of an individual’s organ systems. In many cases, the adverse side effects of using steroids have resulted in irreversible damage. Adult and teen users of steroids could experience one or more of the following as a result of their steroid use:
- Abnormalities in the heart and liver
- High blood pressure and cholesterol
- Fertility problems
Boys specifically could experience shrinkage of the testes and / or the development of breast tissue. Girls are at risk of experiencing menstrual irregularities and / or the development of masculine qualities, i.e. facial hair or body hair. Both genders could develop bad acne from their steroid use. Mood swings and aggressive behaviors have also been exhibited by both male and female users of anabolic steroids.
To curb the number of teenagers being affected by steroids, the FDA has taken steps to discourage the practice of steroid use among individuals in this age group. In particular, the administration has taken action against some of the online distributors who are illegally selling steroids without prescriptions; however, this is an ongoing battle because new online dealers pop up on a regular basis. Perhaps the most alarming issue concerned with online dealers is the fact that many of them do not properly advertise the contents of their products. Individuals who purchase online are not given the opportunity to speak with a medical professional about the risks and benefits of taking steroids, nor are they provided the chance to speak with someone who can help them understand what they are taking. Anabolic steroids that are bought without prescriptions are thus even riskier than those that are prescribed by a doctor.
If your child is suffering from the side effects of an anabolic steroid, especially if he or she was not aware of the steroid’s presence in another product, you should immediately contact a California defective drug lawyer from The Senators Firm. As experienced legal professionals, we are prepared to help you seek compensation for your child’s pain and suffering. Call The Senators Firm at (949) 557-5800.
To read more about the dangerous combination of teens and drugs, as depicted by the FDA’s medical officer, go here: http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm373014.htm.