Saugerties woman educating others on steroid abuse

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SAUGERTIES, N.Y. — Barbara Quick’s husband was the picture of health — until he died.

Shortly after noon on March 5, Quick walked into the family’s Glasco home where her husband Steven, 49, had been watching their grandson, and found him lying face down and non-responsive on the kitchen floor.

Quick called 911 and began administering CPR, but it was too late and her husband was declared dead at about 1 p.m. that day. She said her Steve’s heart was three times its normal size when he died.

 

“I will never be able to suppress the image of him laying there on my kitchen floor, and it being the worst nightmare I will never be able to wake up from,” she said at an Oct. 6 comedy night fundraiser in Steve’s memory.

Quick, 47, redirected her grief and has begun a campaign aimed at educating students and others in Saugerties and the surrounding area to the dangers of the anabolic steroids and performance enhancing supplements she believes killed her husband.

“If I can save a life through the passing of my husband’s life, my husband had a purpose,” she said during a recent interview in her Glasco home’s dining room.

Quick said Steve’s problems began with a mid-life crisis and mental health issues that led him to begin taking illegal steroid medication and over-the-counter performance enhancing supplements in an effort to improve his self-esteem and improve what she said was a distorted body image.

Dr. Paul Llobet, chief medical officer of the HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley, isn’t familiar with Steven Quick’s case, but said HealthAlliance recognizes the problem of anabolic steroid and supplement abuse. He said the drugs — which are available on the black market, over the internet and even over the counter in countries like Mexico and Canada — are dangerous.

Steroids, which Llobet said are unfortunately common among bodybuilders, student athletes and individuals in search of a more buff body image and increased strength, come with considerable risks.

Steroid abuse causes infertility, heart disease, shrinking of the testicles, “personality issues,” impulsivity, acne, increased sweating and body odor, along with premature death, he said.

It’s not uncommon for male users to develop breast tissue and for female users to grow facial hair. Before long, he said, “Now, I have a 17-year-old [male] kid taking tamoxifen to suppress [excessive] estrogen and thinking, ‘I’m big, I’m strong, I’m healthy.’ But they’re pretty sick inside.”

“They’re slowly rotting away and they don’t see it. You don’t see very many 80-year-old wrestlers,” Llobet said.

Additionally, the doctor, who is board-certified in internal medicine, said the body building supplements available at some stores and often added to the drug cocktails of users like Steven Quick can exacerbate the problem.

Those supplements are often billed as all natural products containing the “building blocks” of muscle tissue, Llobet said. While their ingredients are often “just filtered out” by the body, they can sometimes stress the user’s kidneys and exacerbate the problems caused by steroid abuse, he said.

In his remarks at the Oct. 6 fundraiser Quick organized at the Knights of Columbus in Saugerties, town Police Chief Joseph Sinagra, joined the chorus warning against steroid abuse.

“Steroids … do not produce a euphoric high, which makes [them] distinct from other drugs such as cocaine, heroin and marijuana,” Sinagra said. “However, steroid users may and often do develop a substance use disorder just as addicting and in some cases just as fatal as these other drugs.”

He continued, “The most important aspect to curtailing abuse and the misuse of steroids and steroid substitutes is education, addressing the dangerous and harmful side effects, and symptoms of abuse. … Millions of people have excelled in sports and look great without ever using steroids.”

The October fundraiser raised money to bring speakers from the Taylor Hooton Foundation to Saugerties High School on Jan. 17, 2019, for an educational seminar which Quick said will be followed by a community program to be scheduled later that week.

The Taylor Hooton Foundation was, according to its website, founded by the parents family and friends of Taylor E. Hooton, a 17-year-old high school athlete from Plano, Texas, who committed suicide in 2003 after using anabolic steroids.

The foundation is dedicated to educating middle school, high school and college students about the dangers of using and abusing anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, unregulated dietary supplements and appearance- and performance-enhancing drugs, the website states.

Quick plans to bring speakers from the foundation to Saugerties High School to educate student athletes there and to hold a community-wide forum on the topic later the same week, she said.

“Sometimes,” Quick said, “You’re just as good as you are and you should accept it.”

She hopes to bring that message and, a heavy dose of education, to Saugerties in January.

https://www.dailyfreeman.com/news/local-news/saugerties-woman-educating-others-on-steroid-abuse/article_4adcdf0c-d3cf-11e8-94c6-2f7243d6851a.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=email&utm_campaign=user-share 

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