While the number of teens using anabolic steroids showed a slight decline in 2016, the group still represents over 75% of steroid users in the United States. This is an alarming number, according to experts. And parents should pay attention to their teens to ensure that they are not abusing the synthetic hormone.
Most teenagers who use the drug are no longer using it to improve their performance in sports. Instead, they are using anabolic steroids to bulk up.
If you are unsure if your son or daughter is using anabolic steroids illegally, there are signs that you need to look for. It is important to note though that steroids are not bad altogether since they treat certain ailments. But as always, abuse of any kind of drug is dangerous especially because illegal doses are usually 10 to 100 times greater than prescribed amounts.
But what should parents look for?
One of the things to look for is sudden appearance of acne on your teenager’s body and face. This can happen overnight. Although many teens suffer from acne because of other causes, it is important to pay attention to the signals of the body.
It is also a good idea to monitor your child’s behavior because steroid use often leads to aggressive behavior. Medical practitioners also say that teens who abuse anabolic steroids often display forms of narcissism and it is sometimes coupled with a lack of empathy. This makes their aggressive behavior a lot more dangerous. Parents should not dismiss this as teenage angst and must bring their child to a doctor immediately.
Anabolic steroid use can also stop a teenager’s growth and may even cause hallucinations.
If your teen displays any of these symptoms, bring him or her to the pediatrician immediately.
Parents should also be mindful of their kids’ paraphernalia, according to doctors. If you see needles and vials, it is time to talk to your child. It is imperative that you tell your child about the long term effects of anabolic steroid use. Boys who abuse the drug can get smaller testicles and may even start balding prematurely. Girls, on the other hand, will grow more facial and body hair and have deeper voices than their peers who never used the drug.
Over time, abuse of anabolic medication can cause a number of health problems. This includes jaundice, the possibility of stroke, and high blood pressure.