Substance Abuse in Teen Girls
Substance abuse is increasing among teenage girls who are trying to get the toned, sculpted look of models and Hollywood celebs. But what they may not realize is the dangerous side effects that come with using and abusing drugs. Read on to get the lowdown on performance enhancers.
Substance Abuse - Giving in to the Pressures
Teen athletes feel pressure to run faster, jump higher or swim stronger, so many turn to performance-enhancing drugs to fuel their competitive edge. However, guys aren't the only ones abusing these drugs. In the last few years, an alarming number of girls have been getting their hands on steroids and ephedrine to get bigger and stronger on the playing field. More often, these girls suffer from eating disorders and use performance enhancers to control their weight and reduce body fat.
Substance Abuse - Anabolic Steroids
Steroids are drugs that are similar to the male sex hormone, testosterone. Sure, they can make your muscles bulk up - biceps will bulge and abs will ripple - but the health risks are sky-high. They can make teen girls develop male characteristics, including smaller breasts, a deeper voice, irregular periods and excess facial and body hair (gross!). Steroids can also make pimples pop up, hair fall out and send you on aggressive, violent rampages dubbed "roid rages".
Substance Abuse - Ephedrine
For more than 5,000 years, the Chinese have been using ephedrine to treat asthma, lung infections and the common cold. But in the United States, it's sold in health food stores to enhance muscles and give you an extra boost of energy. Scientific studies claim ephedrine causes weight loss by increasing metabolism and burning fat when used in combination with caffeine, which is probably why young girls are jumping on the ephedrine bandwagon. However, abusing ephedrine can lead to serious consequences such as hypertension (high blood pressure), palpitations (rapid heart rate), memory loss, seizures, heart attacks and even death.
Substance Abuse - Just Say No
So it's true - steroids can make you more muscular and ephedrine may cause weight loss, but that's all on the outside. Using and abusing these drugs will create problems on the inside that can effect your health for the rest of your life. So before you even think about it, just say no! http://www.teenzeen.org/ is your source for teen drug abuse and alcohol prevention information.
Substance Abuse - Did U Know?
- The use of performance enhancers has been on the rise since 1991. Today, about 5% of high school girls and 7% of middle school girls have admitted trying them at least once.
- Common street names for steroids are roids, juice, gym candy, pumpers, stackers, balls and bulls.
- Ephedrine is also known as ephedra, ma huang, Mormon tea and herbal ecstasy.