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Steroids Girls and steroids

Some young people will try anything to gain a certain look or a competitive edge in athletics, even an illegal drug. Among both adolescents, steroid abuse is higher among males than females. But the use of these drugs is growing fastest among young women, according to the National Institutes of Drug Abuse.

Kristen is a champion softball player. She knows that some girls use anabolic steroids to get stronger, or achieve a lean, toned look. She hears people at the gym talk about the drugs. But her coach had warned her and her teammates early on about using steroids: Use them and you’re off the team, he warned.

“The whole team worked together,” Kristen says. “If one person had been caught, everyone would have been let down.”

Dr. Roberto Olivardia of Harvard Medical School points out that Kristen has learned to think of the consequences of her choices. “She is thinking, ‘Well, if I take steroids, I might be muscular and fit today, but where will I be five years from now?’ ” he says. “In the long run, she knows she will have a greater feeling of accomplishment than she would have by sticking a needle in her body and cheating to get the results she wants.”

There are many other reasons to avoid steroids. Girls using the drugs grow hair on their faces. Steroids can also make you extremely moody. And they can ruin your health.

“Steroids aren’t natural,” Kristen says. “You might as just as well do heroin, because you are putting a needle and chemicals into your body. I think it’s stupid. And sharing needles is very dangerous. You never know what the person could have. You can get HIV or hepatitis. Even if it’s your best friend, they could have deep, dark secrets no one knows about.”

Read more about Kristen, and other stories about anabolic steroid abuse, in Words Can Work: When Talking About Steroids.

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Steroids: True Stories Hosted by Curt Schilling - DVD
Offers powerful messages about steroid abuse for boys, girls and parents.
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