At what age do people begin to use anabolic steroids?
Two-thirds of steroid abusers began to use them at age 16 or younger.(1) Of the estimated 1 million U. S. steroid abusers, three-fourths are thought to be in high school.(2) Those not in high school average about 25 years old.(3) This is the same average age of bodybuilders at sports and athletic clubs.(3) The younger a person is, the greater the potential for tragic side effects from anabolic steroids.(4) Female babies accidentally exposed to steroids in the womb develop external male genitalia while retaining female reproductive organs.(4) Altered genital development and severely reduced height are effects seen in young children who are accidentally exposed to steroids. Fortunately, steroid abuse is rare in pregnant women, and steroids seem not to be abused by children less than 12.
1. Buckley WE, Yesalis CE, Friedl KE, Anderson WA, Streit AL,
Wright JE. Estimated prevalence of anabolic steroid use among
male high school seniors. J Am Med Assoc 1988 Dec
2. Giannini AJ, Miller N, Kocjan DK. Treating steroid abuse - a
psychiatric perspective. Clinical Pediatrics 1991
3. Lindstrom M, Nilsson AL, Katzman PL, Janzon L, Dymling JF. Use
of anabolic-androgenic steroids among body builders -
frequency and attitudes. J Intern Med 1990 Jun;227(6):407-11.
4. Wilson JD. Androgen abuse by athletes. Endocrine Reviews
by Trent Tschirgi, R. Ph.
(c) 1992 University of Maryland Office of Substance Abuse Studies.
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