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Steroid junkies at the age of 11

April 7th, 2009 · No Comments

Teenage boys are increasingly ending up in hospital after injecting anabolic steroids in the search for the ‘perfect body’.

The number of under-18s admitted for poisoning from the muscle-building drugs has soared by almost half in five years, from 97 to 138.

But that is only the tip of the iceberg, according to official figures.

The number of 11 to 15-year-olds taking steroids almost doubled between 2001 and 2007, from 6,800 to 13,300.

Children using the drugs are most likely to be young boys who want to emulate sporting and fashion heroes.

Anabolic steroids are chemically produced class-C drugs that mimic testosterone.

For males, the sideeffects can be withered testicles, sterility and breast growth.

In women it can be the growth of facial hair.

They can also stunt growth in the young, cause liver problems and aggressiveness known as ‘roid rage’.

It is lawful to possess steroids for personal use though illegal to import or supply them. However, they can be easily bought on the internet or through dealers at gyms.

They are usually injected to increase their effect – which brings the added risk of hepatitis C and HIV if needles are shared.

DrugScope chief executive Martin Barnes said: ‘Steroids may be viewed as offering a shortcut to the perfect body image, but the reality can be quite different.’

The figures were revealed in a parliamentary answer from public health minister Dawn Primarolo to Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Tom Brake.

He said: ‘The dramatic increase in the number of children being admitted to hospitals for steroid misuse is extremely concerning.

‘It’s clear that many children feel increasingly pressured by society’s obsession with the perfect body and some are using steroids to try to deal with it.

‘Ministers need to wake up to the fact that this is no longer just a problem that affects sports like body building but also an issue for the whole of society.’

Only four people have received cautions and 14 people been found guilty of supplying steroids over the last five years.

Tags: Anabolic Steroids · General

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