As the news du jour moves beyond Lance Armstrong and Tour de France doping, health-class, ethics and dinner table conversations might very well transition to middle school and high school sports, and the pressure and prevalence of a no less dangerous trend toward substance abuse.
University of Minnesota research, published recently in the online journal Pediatrics, reports that teens are using steroids and muscle-enhancing substances at higher rates than previously thought. The survey of more than 2,700 Minnesota middle and high school adolescents found that 5.9 percent of boys reported using steroids, while the rate among girls was 4.6 percent.
The researchers say steroid use was also prevalent among non-athletes and children who were overweight or obese.
What are key challenges for educators, coaches and parents? Steroid use is a felony without a prescription. Steroid use can present serious health hazards from “roid rage” to stunted growth. And taking performance-enhancing drugs, whether you’re Lance Armstrong or running high school track and field, simply diminishes the Golden Rule of playing fair.
Connect with Kids believes this an issue educators, parents and teens should throw their weight behind.