The Effects of Steroids on Teenage Development

by:  Clay Ziegler

The Effects of Steroids on Teenage Development

Steroids have long been used in the world of sports to enhance the performance of athletes. Unfortunately, these days even young athletes, both teens and adolescents, have been known to use and abuse steroids. Anabolic steroids are a type of steroid used to build muscle mass. These are the most commonly abused steroids among teens, abuse that can lead to needing teen rehab.

Teens, both male and female, use steroids to improve their body image by building and toning muscle mass. In fact, a study done by the University of Minnesota has shown that of the 2,700 adolescents surveyed, all of whom were around the age of 14, 5.9% of boys and 4.6% of girls had used steroids. In addition, between 5% and 10% of those surveyed had used non-steroid protein products, such as creatine.

Steroid abuse is a serious issue, one that can warrant drug treatment for teens. First, it hints at the serious body image issues that are prevalent among our youth. Also, steroids can have harmful effects on a teen’s brain because these young brains are still developing. The prolonged use of anabolic steroids could cause harm to brain cells and cause a condition known as hyperexcitability, which is a highly agitated, unpredictable, and aggressive state of behavior. Another serious effect from the prolonged use of anabolic steroids is stunted growth. This occurs because the steroids unnaturally accelerate puberty and the maturation of the skeletal structure of the body.

Aside from the brain cell damage and stunted growth, steroid abuse can also cause a number of other serious effects in the body, including kidney failure, liver damage, and cardiovascular problems — such as elevated blood pressure, enlargement of the heart, and shifts in blood cholesterol — all of which can lead to a greater risk of heart attack and stroke. These effects can occur in a teen just as easily as in an adult.

Teens can develop an addiction to steroids and need to be aware of the evidence. Steroid addiction is evident in those who have experienced the negative physical effects, yet will not give it up. If you are the parent of a teen who you think is abusing steroids, then it is important to get help as soon as possible. Consult your family physician and contact a teen drug rehab facility to find out how to proceed. The bottom line is your teen’s growth and development depends on getting them help to recover from steroid addiction.

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