Signs and Symptoms:
If you have reason to believe your teen is abusing steroids, look out for these specific signs and symptoms:
· Noticeable weight gain, particularly more muscle
· Hair loss and premature balding
· Severe acne
· Mood swings, from depression to aggressiveness
· Increased injuries, specifically to tendons
· Yellow tinge to the skin (indicates abnormal liver function)
· Needle marks in large muscle groups
· Needles or syringes in your teen’s belongings
If you notice any of this, talk with your teen immediately and be very clear that no drug use is allowed - and discuss the serious health risks with him. It’s also important that you speak with a family physician. Some health effects are reversible, like acne and mood swings, while others (such as baldness and stunted growth) are not. A doctor should also supervise and help your teen stop taking steroids safely.
Where Do Teens Get Steroids?
Since anabolic steroids are available only by prescription, and because they are regulated like narcotics, anabolic steroid abusers often obtain the drugs illegally. Some of the ways abusers can get steroids include: purchasing steroids manufactured in an illegal drug laboratory (not subject to FDA standards and regulations), smuggling from other countries, purchasing through Internet sales, or stealing from U.S. pharmacies.5
Forms of anabolic steroids containing androstenedione or “andro” can be purchased legally without a prescription through many commercial sources, including health food stores. An anabolic steroid precursor is a steroid that the body converts into an anabolic steroid.6 There is evidence that they may increase the risk of serious, long-term health problems.
How Are Steroids Used?
Anabolic steroids can be taken in the following ways:
· Injection directly into the bloodstream
· Swallowed as tablets or capsules
· Ointments or patches (through the skin)
· Preparations that are placed between the cheek and gum of mouth
Doses taken by abusers can be up to 100 times more than the doses used for treating medical conditions.7
SOURCE: Parents: The Anti-Drug 5http://www.nida.nih.gov/SteroidAlert/SteroidAlert.html
CTCADA offers both adolescent intervention and treatment programs. Education, individual counseling, family therapy, group counseling and referral to other resources are all part of a comprehensive effort to prevent or intervene in youth alcohol and drug abuse. Call us at 254-690-4455!