Steroid Use Among Teens On Rise

Don Hooton, president of the Taylor Hooton Foundation, recently remarked that we should never lose sight of steroid use among teenagers, which is a potential killer among our youth.

In 2003, Hooton’s son Taylor hanged himself after using anabolic steroids. Don Hooton started the Taylor Hooton Foundation for educating parents, coaches, and young athletes to deter them from going down like his son. In 2005, Don remarked if it can happen in our home, it can happen in any home and added it is no longer a drug that only affects the user as it affects all of us and our students’ lives and health are worth it.

Over the last decade, abusers of anabolic steroids have been policed and punished by the Major League Baseball, the NFL, and other professional sports. However, many studies in the past have revealed that the use of performance and appearing enhancing drugs have continued to rise among youth.

Since 2012, the use of synthetic Human growth hormone (HGH) among high school-age teens has almost doubled according to the organization Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. Eleven percent of teenagers in grades 9-12 reported using human growth hormone with a prescription, up from five percent two years earlier, according to the latest Partnership Attitude Track Study (PATS), sponsored by MetLife Foundation. It was further revealed by the Partnership Attitude Track Study that there was a gradual increase in lifetime use of anabolic androgenic steroids among teenagers, from five percent in 2009 to seven percent in 2013. Twenty-one percent remarked at least one friend makes use of anabolic steroids presently and it is easy to obtain these drugs.

Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of the Partnership of Drug-Free Kids, said this new data point to a troubling development among today’s teens. He added young people are seeking out and using performance-enhancing substances like synthetic HGH and supplements purporting to contain HGH, hoping to improve athletic performance or body appearance without really knowing what substances they are putting into their bodies.

De La Salle (Concord, California) coach Justin Alumbaugh remarked all health-related habits — good and bad — are on our radar. He remarked no supplements are allowed in his program, unless they are cleared by the medical staff of the program. Alumbaugh further added we are constantly monitoring our kids’ health and said we monitor their weight and chart their every lift. Alumbaugh also said if anything is off kilter or out of the norm or haywire, we see it and act on it.

Tony Sanchez, a sixth-year coach for Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), said his program closely follows National Collegiate Athletic Association guidelines and attempts to educate his players. Sanchez said there are so many good products and supplements out there to embrace and added that we try to teach the kids to make good, informed decisions. Like all other areas of our program, we try to educate our kids. He further commented we can’t put our heads in the sand and assume kids aren’t going to use some of these health products and we need to teach them what are good and bad so they can be informed.

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