Teens rage on with roids.
The number of teens using synthetic human growth hormones (hGH) and other performance enhancing drugs has increased from 5% to 11% in just one year.
The survey from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids asked 3,705 boys and girls if they have ever used hGH without a prescription. The results not only found that the number of hGH use among teens is twice as high, but it also found that steroid use among teens rose from 5 to 7%. Both boys and girls admitted to using hGH and steroids, African-American and Hispanic teens being the higher users.
The human growth hormone occurs naturally in the body, stimulating cell production and growth in children and adolescents. Steroids and hGh are injected or taken orally to add muscle and body composition to improve appearance and physical capabilities.
“These new data point to a troubling development among today’s teens,” Steve Pasierb, president of the Partnership said in a group news release. “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.”
Prescription and over-the-counter hGH and steroids used to treat muscle deterioration as a result from HIV/AIDS, pituitary tumors, or short stature in children and teens are classified as safe, not there are many products sold that are not FDA approved—not to mention the accessibility to products online and through friends. One in five teens reported these products were easy to get.
“The proliferation of commercially available products that are marketed saying they contain synthetic hGH, or promote the natural production of hGH within the body, is staggering,” said Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids in a statement.
The study also found that approximately one in four teens reported to having misusing or abusing a prescription drug, and the amount of teens who used OTC cough medicine to get high rose from 12 to 15% in one year.