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Effects of Teen Steroid Use on High School Teams

In fact, 57% of teen users admit to being influenced by "the dozen or so muscle magazines that today reach a readership of at least 7 million; 42 percent said they were swayed by famous athletes who they were convinced took steroids" (Schrof 54). Moreover, of the 6% to 12% of boys using steroids who "want to be sports champions...over one third aren't even on a high-school team" (Schrof 54). Of the high school girls that use steroids, the "typical dose [they]...take is ten to one hundred times higher than that appropriate for medical purposes" (Califano 55).

Efforts to stem the growing tide of teen steroid abuse are under way. Steroids are banned by most professional sports organizations, and athletes caught using them can lose a promising sports career (Dowshen). In 2004, President Bush promised $23 million for teen steroid drug testing (Harris 36). However, these measures are not sufficient in themselves to curb teen steroid use. With respect to the drug testing, for example, the National Federation of State High School Associations reported that only 13% of high schools administer drug tests to athletes, and only 29% of those were testing specifically for anabolic steroids (Harris 36). Some rural high schools have ended their sports programs altogether in an effort to stop teen steroid use (Popke). It has also been suggested that school nurses could play a role in detecting steroid use, since they see students suffering the effects of the drugs (Popke). Hall of Famer Dick Butkus and his son Matthew founded an organization called "I Play Clean," which "seeks to educate students, parents and school administrators about the dangers of teen steroid use" (Russo). The National Institute on Drug Abuse "has launched a multimedia education campaign to publicize the dangers of these drugs" ("Teen Steroid Abuse Rises" 50). The initiative includes a web site-http://www.steroidabuse.org-and the distribution of such material...

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