Are your teens using steroids?

Mark McGwire came clean yesterday admitting he used steroids off and on for nearly a decade during his career as a major league ball player.  Here’s the link to the AP story.

McGwire became the second major baseball star in less than a year to admit using illegal steroids, following the New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez last February.

All these pro players admitting to steroid use makes me wonder how prevalent steroid use is in high schools today.

When I was younger my brother was very into working out. He loved Hulk Hogan, Rocky and Arh-nold of course!  He spent a ton of time in the weight room at our high school and talked frequently about other guys saying they did steroids.  It wasn’t just a few guys. It seemed like a lot of big guys in our high school said they were using. I always wondered if the coaches knew.

My brother used the legal muscle building shakes from the health food store, but to my knowledge NEVER took any steroids. I think the needles really creeped him out.

But anecdotally speaking, it felt like steroids were pretty prevalent.

We recently saw a fascinating movie on Netflix called “Bigger, Stronger, Faster” about a young man examining steroid use in our country. He grew up at the same time as me and my brother and had all the same idols. His two brothers were both using steroids as adults and he was trying to decide if he should too. You can watch the movie’s trailer above.

The movie does a great job examining the use of steroids in sports today and inconsistencies in attitudes and policies toward steroid use.  If you have streaming Netflix, it’s really worth watching.

So parents with kids in high school now: Do you hear your teens talking about steroid use? Would you know if they were using them? Do your teens exhibit any of the signs of steroid use? Would you condone them? Would you worry more about their health or the legal aspects of using illegal steroids? Do you think they are as prevalent today as they seemed in the 1980s? What do you think teens today think about steroids?

71 comments Add your comment

Julia

January 12th, 2010
8:21 am

Morning Theresa :)… Oh goody, I get to be the first one to jump off the bridge here. Mark McGwire is a cheat and a lier. I think he should be fired from baseball, he stole that record from Hank Aaron! If any one did not know he was on steroids, they live under a rock. I am sorry but I do not buy his apology. It is pathetic that these over paid children act this way, cry on tv and we are suppose to just say ok. you are forgiven.

Now that I have got that off my chest. I am a tough love mom. I have told the boy from the time he can walk and never change my tone of voice when I say this… He knows that if I ever catch him with drugs, I will kick his butt then haul him to jail my self.

Given that, he has asthma and allergies so yes he has been on the depo pack so I guess yes, he has been on steroids. Now if he did this for sports.. I would kick his tail and haul him off to jail my self.

MGJ, I think I took your crown today for long post :)

Morning FCM :)

Geez, Julia...

January 12th, 2010
8:32 am

You are confusing your baseball players – it was Barry Bonds who “stole” Hank Aarons all time home run record – Mark McGwire stole nothing from “The Hammer” – and, McGwire is already out of baseball – has been for over 5 years.

But, nice try – your sentiments were in the right place.

Julia

January 12th, 2010
8:35 am

Well they are now saying he just took a job as a batting coach for the Cardinals…

hi there

January 12th, 2010
8:36 am

I’m not sure how I would react to teens using a drug of this nature, but I do know that parents as well as coaches demand more from our young athletes than ever before. I feel that most without the proper guidance would turn to drugs to get to the next level or perform at a higher level and that most parents might not even notice the changes. Proper diet and exercise is all that anyone should be doing to their body as you just never know what could go wrong. You only get one body and in our throw away society I feel it is hard for most to remember that.

I think they are at about the same level of prevalence as they were in the 80’s, just today there are more things on the market you can use to get the same gains that you would from steriods. Keep in mind that we have come very far in the past twenty years from a fitness and training aspect where it is possible to get extremely lean and put on muscle weight, even for women. My sister in law is a personal trainer and she works with teens who play all types of sports, at all different fitness levels, who teaches them the proper way to put on weight and bulk up if that is their goal. Not everyone wants to look like he-man, but wants to bat like McGwire.

As a parent when you first get your child home you watch every little muscle twich to understand them and learn how to read them. Use that in the future, esp as teens since most don’t even want to be around you long enough for you to look at them, let alone read any of their “signals” to see signs of stress or drug use, but don’t let the “work” of it stop you. Get in there and get involved with your child and talk to them about the dangers of this substance and review ways to reach and set possible goals and do it together.

As a side note, most teens today are dealing with being overweight rather than drug use to make huge gains. What about diet pills? What would you do if you found out your teen was using them? How would you handle that? Is it just as bad as steroids or a totally different ball game (so to speak)?

Thanks, Julia...

January 12th, 2010
8:40 am

my comment related to his being out of baseball as a player. Coaching is a different matter and really has nothing to do with using “performance enhancing drugs”. But, I do understand your suggestion. By the way, he did “steal” single season home run record from Roger Maris!

Julia

January 12th, 2010
8:44 am

Its not fair and the news ways saying he should go in the hall of fame just because of his numbers.. NOT.. I think they should take them all out if they have been using.. Numbers or not. they are not real…

Coaching playing he should not be allowed to now even go watch a game at a stadium… they need to fire his rear end and run him off…

...

January 12th, 2010
8:45 am

Seems to me that kids these days are popping prescription drugs more than anything else.

Becky

January 12th, 2010
8:45 am

Thankfully this isn’t something that I’m worried about..Most of the teens in my family have parents that did drugs while they were growing up and that seems to have turned them off of drugs, cigarettes and alcohol..

I’m like Julia though, they do these things knowing that at some point they will get caught, then they go on TV and cry (like babies) and want us to forgive them..Not going to happen in my book..

Good morning to all and hope that everyone has a wonderful day..

Julia

January 12th, 2010
8:48 am

Becky he lied to congress!! Ugh he is scum in my book…

Becky

January 12th, 2010
8:49 am

My biggest concern with the teens in my family is tattoos..I have a great neice that just turned 18 and she already has three (big) tattoos..

Julia

January 12th, 2010
8:52 am

I have a butterfly on my right ankle.. .. the pink hair and the tammy faye baker eye liner disturbs me :)

Van Jones

January 12th, 2010
8:52 am

“…just today there are more things on the market you can use to get the same gains that you would from steriods.”

Uhhhh no. Even if a teenager was disciplined enough to get the proper amount of rest, get the proper nutrition, work out properly, and use the proper supplements they will get nowhere near the gains of someone using steroids.

Van Jones

January 12th, 2010
8:55 am

And Julie, he didn’t lie to Congress. He refused to talk about the past (the past where he used steroids).
I appreciate your agenda but it would be nice if you could get your facts straight before you post.

HB

January 12th, 2010
8:56 am

Actually, he very carefully did not lie to Congress. I believe her said, “I’m not going to talk about the past.” So no perjury charges for him, but I get your point. Poor Roger Maris — first years with the stupid *, then his record was broken by cheats.

Julia

January 12th, 2010
8:56 am

Van Jones I agree. My son is a band geek and next year will be in high school. As much as I love the boy he would not run to catch a nap. He is not a jock at all and I am ok with that… he said he wanted to go out for football next year and I was thinking the same thing…

Julia

January 12th, 2010
8:58 am

Its NOT Julie its Julia – so do not scold me about “my” facts :)

He knew what he was doing and he was not truthful so yes he lied

Julia gets it wrong consistently

January 12th, 2010
9:00 am

Not to totally pile on here, but Mark McGuire DIDN’T lie to Congress. He was called to testify and later (rightly) ridiculed for saying “I’m not here to talk about the past.”

We now find out that he didn’t testify because he wanted immunity and wasn’t granted it. He was acting on legal counsel to not admit anything without protection.

Loathsome and evasive, sure. But he didn’t actually lie in his testimony to Congress like Palmeiro and Schilling did. There’s actually some integrity in that.

I hate piling on & having to defend steroid users, but Julia your “enthusiasm” for this topic is clearly affecting (and limiting) your understanding of the facts here.

Becky

January 12th, 2010
9:00 am

Oops, wasn’t finished..I have a step nephew that is only 16 and he already has 4-5 tats..His Mom signed for him to get them, but that is still very wrong to me..

@Julia, where did you read that I said he told the truth? I know that he lied..To congress, to his fans and to his family..That’s why I said that there won’t be any forgiving from me..

Julia

January 12th, 2010
9:01 am

Van, its Julia NOT Julie so dont scold me over facts :)

Julia

January 12th, 2010
9:04 am

oh I was just ughing to my self Becky :)

Julia gets it wrong consistently

January 12th, 2010
9:09 am

Baseball’s history of cheating is as long as the game itself. Stealing signs, spiking players, spitting on & scuffing the ball… amphetamine use (look up “greenies” all throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s).

These guys will pay a dear price with their bodies. If they’re willing to pay that price and incur that cost, as a lifetime baseball fan (and kinda libertarian) I say let them do it. It’s their bodies.

Angry scolding “fans” posting here wanting to ridicule these players as cheats are just judgmental folk wanting to look down on people. Go clean up your own backyard.

I’m a lifelong fan of the game and couldn’t care less. These guys are pros, trying to get paid, trying to make the majors, trying to stay healthy. It doesn’t require a dissertation to understand steroid use.

Parents, mind your kids. Leave the grownups alone.

lovelyliz

January 12th, 2010
9:09 am

As long as they are excelling at football, baseball or some sport du jour, it’s written off as talent or “he’s just big boned”.

Julia

January 12th, 2010
9:13 am

Julia gets it wrong consistently – seems to me that you are a coward that cant say who they are so I take what you say with no value. You want to be a fan and help support this.. You go right ahead, there is a sucker born every minute. Oh and speaking of my back yard.. If you only knew… I just went to court over this doll face and WON!! so Bite me

Karina

January 12th, 2010
9:14 am

Is a lie of omission still a lie? OF COURSE!

Mark McGuire DID lie to Congress for heaven’s sake!

iRun

January 12th, 2010
9:14 am

First of all, performance enhancement using steroids has been around for a long, long time. You’re kidding yourself if you think otherwise. They were first SYNTHESIZED in the 1930. And that’s when athletes started using them. Then in the 1950s it was human growth hormone.

Before that, in the 1800s, athletes used doping substances such as cocaine.

So, don’t kid yourself that your “pure” heroes were drug free. Like anyone in sports, they took whatever was available to them at the time to keep on top their game.

My husband is an exercise physiology professor and he gets a bit amused by all the hoopla. At the end of the day, this is about money, not sports, or even health.

As for impact on health, steroids and growth hormone, even in healthy people, can be beneficial if used correctly under the guidance of an endocrinologist trained in the use of these hormones. Currently, they’re used to help with muscle wasting that sometimes occurs in people with HIV.

As for MY son…I prefer he not interfere with his endocrine system while he’s young. You interrupt those pathways while you’re still developing and you’re highly likely to mess them up. For men, this is past the age of 18. There is no set age. You’d have to monitor your endocrine profile to see when it stabilizes.

After that, if he had a job that depended on him being fast and strong and he could use non-addictive performance enhancers under the guidance of a medical provider…then I’m all for it.

They shouldn’t be illegal. They should be available to physicians for Rx the way most other drugs are. And Mark McGwire was a grown man. He wasn’t messing with a developing endocrine system. All he did was break the rules of the company he worked for and if he’d been busted they’d have had the right to fire him.

As for “role models”, if the stuff were legal then there could be an honest discussion about how these substances, much like alcohol, aren’t safe for adolescents. Honest discussions that emphasize that premature use of these substances could actually truncate your athletic career.

But no. We have misinformation and outrage. Sheesh

Becky

January 12th, 2010
9:17 am

Julia, sorry that I read it wrong:) I am kind of doofus at times..I have an ex BIL that used ‘roids in the 70’s and he is paying for it dearly now..The strange part is that he didn’t use them to play sports or for any reason to make money, he just used them for??

Julia

January 12th, 2010
9:19 am

Becky I love the commercials they had over them for the shrinking of.. :) Those were funny :)

Julia gets it wrong consistently

January 12th, 2010
9:19 am

Julia you can dismiss what I say & call me names, but I’m the one bringing the facts here. You’re the one getting it wrong at every step.

The readers can decide who’s credible and who’s just kind of shrieking their opinion.

Julia gets it wrong consistently

January 12th, 2010
9:21 am

We do agree on one thing: any guy who would trade his “sporting equipment” just for being bigger, stronger, faster (and possibly richer, but not always as Becky learned – sometimes it’s just for vanity) deserves what happens to them.

Julia gets it wrong consistently

January 12th, 2010
9:26 am

And Karina, despite your firm conviction, courts disagree with you. Staying silent is not the same as incriminating yourself. That’s why people can “plead the fifth” – the outcome may be the same; you still may be convicted because people BELIEVE you may have committed the crime… but you didn’t actually perjure yourself.

A little common sense, please.

That’s like saying “My opinion is fact because *I* believe it!”

Julia

January 12th, 2010
9:28 am

My biggest gripe over him is that his pathetic cry on tv saying Im sorry I really wanted to come clean. Well SFB’s you had ever freaking chance to do it… He blew up like a balloon before our eyes and now he wants to admit it when the whole world knew what he was doing all along.. Normal run of the mill people who would have lied like this or did something against the fiber of the company they work for would have been fired..

Julia

January 12th, 2010
9:29 am

Oh and I am sorry but the justice system FAILS when someone who committed the crime, gets off and thens years later admits it…

lovelyliz

January 12th, 2010
9:38 am

Amen iRun! Do any amount of research and you’ll find that as long as there have been sports, there have been performance enhancing methods or otherways of changing the outcome of play. The difference now is that they actually test and investigate. The athletes of today are no more or less likely to abuse whatever than were the guys from yesteryear.

sane jane

January 12th, 2010
9:42 am

So Julia, what you’re really getting hung up on is the lack of “justice”? He commits a crime and gets away with it? That’s honestly what’s bugging you?

The only people who have a right to be miffed are the media (to whom he actually DID lie over the years) and fans who feel jilted or cheated. You’re hung up on the law enforcement side of things?

I’m pretty sure justice will be served, or has been already. In the form of shriveled up parts. Twigs and berries, you know?

Julia

January 12th, 2010
9:43 am

Julia gets it wrong consistently – are you a parent? I am not trying to be smart here but just wondering… If you have children, did you not teach them.. if you tell me the truth the punishment wont be nearly as bad??

As I have often said...

January 12th, 2010
9:43 am

…if you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’! But, I agree – there’s no cryin’ in baseball!

Julia

January 12th, 2010
9:46 am

Its not the justice part of it per say.. its all these darn jock, movie stars etc who now want to confess to their sins and we have got way past the shock of the first ones so now just just acceptable. I am just so over these jack arses. I am a human and make my own mistakes but if this were me, I would be under the jail not sitting in it… and no this is not a poor pitiful julia cry.

oneofeach4me

January 12th, 2010
9:54 am

My kids are still in grade school… but I worry about drugs more than anything else. Especially since they are so prevalent these days and extremely easy to obtain. And I am not just talking Heroin and Crack here… I am talking PRESCRIPTION medication which can also include steroids.

I also have to agree with one poster here who said “tend to your kids, leave the adults alone”. I agree. I don’t have the energy to contribute toward what I think another grown man/woman should do. I just know I don’t want my kids to use AT ALL. And I will go to whatever lengths needed to at least make sure they understand the side effects as well as LONG TERM effects of what drugs (whether prescribed, illegal, performance enhancing, whatever) will do to your brain and your body. Hell, I have even let my 8 yr old girl see a few episodes of Intervention. You would be surprised at the effect it has.

a_mom

January 12th, 2010
9:59 am

It’s not just Mark McGuire. It’s pretty much all the players in all the sports. Most of these baseball players look like they could play defensive line in football… steroids. The basketball players who look like that too… steroids. Look at the superior baseball & basketball players when we were kids… they didn’t look huge like they do today.

I quit caring about or watching pro sports years ago because who cares if you’re the best athlete or best team if you used steroids to do it? It’s the same as back when I was a kid and the East German teams were always winning in the Olympics. Nobody gave them credit because it was known that they were cheating with steroids, human growth hormones, etc. That’s why their women looked more like men. Now, we have Americans doing the same (Marion Jones).

It’s hard to get excited about any of the superior athletes anymore. Most of them cheat because they don’t stand a chance against the other cheaters without it. Until all these sports start REALLY cracking down on it and stop turning a blind eye, why bother watching.

Julia

January 12th, 2010
10:03 am

Tend to your kids and leave the adults alone..well.. well well, if these bone heads were not IDOLS for young children who look up to them and now see that all this is OK…. yep the world has gone to hell in a hang bad…

Denise

January 12th, 2010
10:10 am

What I don’t understand is why steroid use goes before Congress. Don’t they have anything better to do? I agree with “Julia gets it wrong consistently” (even though the name is not nice). There is a price to pay in your body taking steroids and if a player is willing to take that risk then so be it. I personally think it’s stupid and I am only talking about adults of course. Grown folks make grown folks’ decisions and suffer grown folks’ consequences. Kids need to be monitored and taught the evils and risks of steroids. I don’t think the benefits outweigh the long-term risks. But then again, I was never a good enough athlete that I had the possibility to do anything for more than fun so maybe I don’t understand the pressure and the need to succeed at all cost.

First Stone Thrower

January 12th, 2010
10:19 am

here are my bona fides: I am a former professional athlete and steroid user. #1 – Bigger, Stronger, Faster should be required viewing for any parent who encourages his/her child to play competitive (H.S.) sports. #2 – it should be noted that the filmmaker’s older brother (wannabe pro wrestler) commited suicide last year. #3 – drugs are part of our culture. is there a difference between a teenager who uses “illegal” drugs (performance enhancing and/or recreational) and a teenager who is prescribed Ritalin, Prozac or any other “legal” drug? There are teenagers who seek out ADD diagnosis so that they may have better SAT scores (so they think). of course “heroin kills” but until we understand why a teenager would flirt with death (use heroin), we’re really just killing time, here. Like any other “issue” confronting parents (re: children), drugs are about choice. Parents need to teach their children to make informed, responsible choices. As a parent, would you prefer your son use steroids and earn $75 million for 10 years in MLB, or would your rather he get a Harvard MBA, a job on Wall Street and earn $100 million while driving a company into bankruptcy?

FCM

January 12th, 2010
10:19 am

Morning everyone. I already tease my youngest that she cannot compete in the Olympics (she isn’t trying to either) since she has had to have steriod use related to being a premie & Asthma. I think as parents you should be involved in your children. Since teens lack the logic skills (as discussed a few blogs back) to make these infomed decision about life long consequences, I think it imparative the parent assist in it.

I have a child on perscription meds. These same meds are sometimes abused on the street. I have also read that these meds are overpercribed to children with parents of certain expectations. These meds have been found to boost the brain in children who do not have the ADD or ADHD signs. They are able to become some kind of super genisus. How is that different? Isn’t that just an acedemic steriod? Like another poster said what if it abuse of a diet pill? Or Sudafed–which does suppress the appetite–legal to get (if not more difficult due to Meth users) but highly abused. Or Exlax — bulemia anyone?

All of these things affect our bodies — adult or children. MJG mentioned that her sister has health issues due to Nurtisystem. Then there was Fen-Fen a few years back.

Should kids be using this? Should adults? IMHO NO, NO, and um HE%% NO. Partner with the coach, make sure you know who your kids are talking too. By all means check in on them and make sure they are being careful with their bodies — be it sex, drugs, alcohol or something else. I realize mine are not there yet, but I am hoping I have laid the ground work. I think my Mom was right (don’t tell her it would kill her I said so)—I think you raise your kids the best you can, then as teens give them room to make choices, be there to “coach” them on the decisions, and most of all PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!

Julia — I feel your passion for this and I support your right to believe that way. I do wonder…do you feel the same about Bill Clinton? You don’t really have to answer that. :)

MJG–Thank you for the words of encouragement on my course work.

HB

January 12th, 2010
10:22 am

Amen, Denise! I appreciate MLB cracking down on steroid use, but cannot for the life of me see why Congress needed to get involved. Surely, they have more important things to focus on than the regulations (and possible violations to those regs) of a private organization.

sane jane

January 12th, 2010
10:23 am

What is a hang bad?

And is it anything like a handbag?

Chris Broe

January 12th, 2010
10:30 am

I didn’t take drugs or steroids in high school. I also didn’t make the baseball team. I used to blame the coach, but I realize now it was because of all the “Alice B. Hitless” brownies I ate.

hi there

January 12th, 2010
10:30 am

Van,

Trust me, there are ways to get large using diet and exercise because I have done it before. I did use supplements that were sold over the counter and large amounts of protein and a stripped down super clean diet to get the levels of cut that I wanted to compete. Granteed, it did take a long time and it was an ardious process and not something I would want or recomoned someone doing all the time, but it can be done.

oneofeach4me

January 12th, 2010
10:30 am

@ Julia – I understand why you feel the way you do. These guys/gals put themselves in the spotlight, make MOUNDS of money, and alot of kids “follow” them (don’t want to say idoloize) and then years later it’s discovered they gambled their bodies and/or brains for money basically. So I get it. The thing is though, you as an individual cannot control anyone but yourself. You can coach and teach and pray for your kids that they take the right path and make the best choices even when you are not around… but they may not always do that. Sometimes they will want to experience things on their own. And you DEFENITELY cannot control what a grown man who plays baseball does with his body. It’s just WAY too stressful!! When idols screw up, talk to you kids about it, make sure they know it’s not OKAY to use. As the saying goes “God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Julia

January 12th, 2010
10:32 am

FCM roftlmao :)

uconn

January 12th, 2010
10:34 am

I know that kids look to athletes/celebs etc. as idols and role models… Hmmm any chance parents let their kids know that while its great to aspire to be as successful, as driven and as hard working (some) as these people are, they are not infallible (sp?) nor are they perfect… its up to us adults to keep our kids grounded and not think because someone hits a homerun every once in a while is a God or hero… JMHO