Not Just for Pros: Steroid Use Among Girls

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Sports fans know that many sports, at varying times and frequencies, are plagued by the use of steroids.  Steroid scandal has hit professional athletes in track and field, baseball, cycling and gymnastics (to name a few).  While the use of steroids in professional sports is disturbing, of particular concern is the use of steroids in young girls. 

Syringes via shutterstock

 The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in 2011 2.9% of high school girls admitted to using steroids.  While that figure is down from the all-time high of 5.3% reported in 2003, it is more than double the 1.2% reported in 1991.  While steroid use may not be as pervasive among young girls as alcohol or marijuana use, the practice is nothing to be ignored, and efforts should be made to decrease usage among girls.      

As defined by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) steroids, or anabolic steroids, are synthetically produced variants of testosterone that are abused in an attempt to promote muscle growth, enhance athletic or other physical performance, and improve physical appearance.  While the initial effects of these drugs may tempt girls, the side and long-term effects may include:

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