Addressing Abuse of Performance Enhancing Drugs by Teens .pdf
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Addressing Abuse of Performance-Enhancing Drugs by Teens
Regular substances of abuse are not the only major cause of concern for parents and guardians. Another
addition to the list is performance-enhancing supplements. According to a 2016 report by the American
Academy of Pediatrics, the trend of misuse of performance-enhancing supplements by teens, who are not
athletes, to enhance their appearances, is fast becoming a cause of worry for parents and authorities in
Co-author of the report Dr. Michele LaBotz said, “Doctors think of performance-enhancing substance use
as an athlete problem, but many non-athletes are using these substances for appearance enhancement.”
The American teens
have been seen abusing
powders, diet pills, etc.
greater risks to the
teens abusing such
generally use more of
caffeine and creatine,
while girls are seen
nonprescription weight loss
As per experts, it is peer pressure which is forcing the youngsters to take to such a risky proposition which
poses many risks to users.
Abuse of performance-enhancing substances and cardiovascular problems
These supplements, which are often available over-the-counter, are likely to be addictive and laced with
steroids, toxic heavy metals, like lead and mercury, and stimulants. Dr. LaBotz said that these spiked
supplements put the teens at a higher risk of becoming victims of cardiovascular problems. “If you are
one of the many teens already on stimulants for ADHD, you’re compounding the risk of heart problems,”
LaBotz said that there are many irrevocable ill effects of using these supplements as the use of some
steroids might result in stunted growth and growth of male breasts, which are hard to reduce even after
the discontinuation of supplements.
The most prominent negative impact of abusing these performance-enhancing supplements is that they
may lead to an abuse of other substances, like alcohol or drugs, and teens may partake in other risky
behaviors. LaBotz said that various studies corroborate this finding. Parents of such teens should be extra
vigilant and carry out a periodic check on their children to find whether they have become addicted to
any substance. It could be a bigger mayhem fighting the supplement misuse along with other illicit
Hence, it is only desirable to impart regular education about the dangers of supplements to both the teens
and their parents. In fact, parents play a greater role in fighting this problem because the teens on their
own may not understand the possible threats posed by these supplements. It is the duty of the parents
to help children understand the consequences of use and misuse of these supplements and urge them to
refrain from their possible abuse.
Irrespective of whether misuse of performance-enhancing supplements leads to an addiction of other
illegal drugs in teens or not, the side effects are enough to jeopardize their lives. Bringing out a legislation
to regulate such supplements in the near future would be a welcome change.
Addiction in any form and at any level should be prevented. It is not a crime but a disease which is
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