When the National Institute on Drug Abuse surveyed 48,025 students in a nationally representative sample of 403 public and private schools about lifetime, past year, past month and daily use of drugs, including steroids, the 2007 report stunned American adults: 2.2% of high school seniors reported using steroids at least once. The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, a not-for-profit organization, joins health care professionals nationwide in alerting parents to the warning signs associated with steroid use.


"Steroid use among America's youth who are emulating professional athletes is a serious problem that can lead to serious often disastrous health outcomes, including baldness, acne, nausea, liver damage even heart disease and stroke," says Gerard W. Clum, DC, President of Life Chiropractic College West, Hayward, California and spokesperson for the Foundation. "Not only will youngsters be disappointed that these steroids fall short of producing superior athletic prowess, they will encounter some potentially deadly results."


According to another study conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine, anabolic-androgenic steroids have been associated with adverse effects on the liver, cardiovascular system, reproductive system and psychological status in both males and females.


"For teenagers in particular, steroids are an absolute no-win situation," continues Dr. Clum. "Baldness, oily skin, extreme acne are just the minor problems with some youngsters developing hormonal disturbances leading to the development of breasts in males and the growth of beards in females. They are also shown to contribute to stunted growth."


Teenagers experience mood swings, skin changes and the effects of changing hormones, circumstances which are further exaggerated by steroids use.


"It is imperative for parents be on the alert for signs of steroid use, especially among teenage athletes," he adds. "When teens become overly concerned about physical performance, undergo significant changes in their physical appearance, exhibit serious mood swings or rage-like behavior, these could be signals of steroid use."


Doctors at the Foundation suggest that parents talk to their teens about the use of steroids and learn about safer alternatives to performance enhancement. Chiropractic professionals and their drug-avoidance perspectives can be important allies in helping youngsters to make better decisions.


The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress is a 501c6 corporation that represents a cross-section of the chiropractic and vendor communities with the goal of increasing the public's awareness of the benefits of chiropractic. Visit www.F4CP.org for more information.


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