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Steroids are a synthetic version of the human hormone called testosterone, and they can be very addictive. Currently, there are more than 100 different types of steroids that have been developed. The two most common are gamma hydroxybutyrate, also known as GHB, and clenbuterol. Steroid use is never safe, whether in large or small doses; in fact, it is so dangerous that very few studies have been done with humans. According to the 1999 survey, 2.7 percent of 8th and 10th graders reported that they had taken steroids at least once in their lives, and 1.7 percent had used them in the past year. Also among 12th graders, 45 percent felt it would be fairly easy or very easy for them to get steroids. Bodybuilding stresses muscularity, and some men and women abuse steroids to increase muscle mass and definition. And then there s the winning isn t everything, it s the only thing philosophy common in so many school athletic programs. The desire to make the football team or to impress peers is much more immediate than the future prospect of possible damage to the liver, heart, and other vital organs, according to many experts. Recently, steroids were placed in the same regulatory category as cocaine, heroin, LSD, and other habit-forming drugs. Although it may be true that with intensive weight training and a high-calorie, high-protein diet, steroids can augment short-term muscle gain, teens need to ask themselves: Is it worth all the short-term health effects and the possibility of long-term, permanent damage?

People can persuade their friends or family members to stop taking steroids, but it is often difficult. Steroid users often feel they need the steroids to look acceptable in the public eye. People can discourage people from starting steroids by warning them of all of the health risks involved in taking steroids, such as severe acne, yellowing of eyes, sterility, vomiting, and aggressive behavior. People also need to become more educated themselves, so they can take an active part in preventing steroid use.

Picture this, you want to become the best athlete on the team, so you decide to take steroids. In a matter of time, you are scoring more points and having better games, thanks to steroids. But one day the school has a drug test, and you get caught. Your whole athletic career is ruined before you even get out of high school, not to mention the health problems you will now have, all because of steroids.

Teens can persuade their friends to stop taking steroids by talking to them about the health risks and the other problems that steroids cause, but they need to become educated themselves first. When they know all the facts, they can then be sure that they can tell their friends all of the problems with steroids. After taking a long, hard look at the facts, most teens will realize that using drugs to boost athletic performance is a no-win situation.

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