So many young high school and college athletes look up to their favorite sports players for inspiration. The down side to this is that these young athletes also look up to these professional players for their actions, which many times are not so inspiring. According to a recent article, an increasing number of medical experts are becoming concerned with the effects of anabolic steroids on young athletes who abuse this drug for personal gain in their respective sports. A report by the Office of National Drug Control Policy showed that in 2007 2.2% of 12th graders, or roughly 1 in 45 had admitted to using steroids for at least the duration of one traditional sports cycle, which lasts anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks. Although steroids have been designated a controlled substance within the United States, many athletes use the drug to increase muscle density and increase confidence. But with this extra boost comes a dangerous risk of damaging their overall health. Studies have shown that anabolic steroids can damage the heart and liver, stunt bone development, and cause extreme mood changes, weight gain and acne. Because steroids are related to testosterone, the use and then withdrawal of the substance can lead to severe depression episodes that may last for months at a time. In turn, this can have a greater effect on the number of suicidal thoughts and according to U.S. government studies; suicide is the third leading cause of death among youths between the ages of 15 and 24. With numerous stories on the news displaying professional athletes being accused of using steroids, young up and coming students are being given a false view of the “perfect image” and are thus abusing steroids to try and meet the pressures to look athletically “perfect.” The reality is that these individuals often end up needing treatment for steroid abuse. The abuse of steroids can be just as dangerous as becoming addicted to more common substances such as alcohol and prescription drugs and for 17 and 18-year-old kids, the repercussions are life threatening and can be very difficult to quit. They say the proof is in the pudding. I’ll let you be the judge of that: For more information about drug and alcohol treatment, please visit The Right Step today!