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NIDA. (2002, February 11). Public Service Announcements and In the Mix Show Highlight the Dangers of Anabolic Steroids . Retrieved from

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February 11, 2002

Part of the angst of adolescence is concern about body image. In the quest for physical perfection and athletic performance America's young adults increasingly have turned to anabolic steroids, despite the serious side effects of these drugs. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which began a public education program about abuse of anabolic steroids in April 2000, is now distributing public service announcements in English and Spanish to television stations across the country. The announcements are designed to educate teens, parents and others about the dangers of anabolic steroid abuse.

The Institute also participated in the development of "Steroids: The Hard Truth," a special on anabolic steroid abuse among young people that will air on In the Mix, a popular television show for teens (airing on PBS stations, February 16, 2002, to February 23, 2002, check local listings). This program addresses the growing use of anabolic steroids by girls as well as boys. It features interviews with teens on sports and self-image; and provides insights from ex-users and experts who reveal the dangers and misconceptions about steroids.

"Anabolic steroids is the familiar name for synthetic substances related to testosterone, the male sex hormone," said Dr. Glen Hanson, Acting Director, NIDA. "While these drugs have medical uses, such as treating delayed puberty, when abused, anabolic steroids have serious health consequences. Instead of enhancing body image, in fact, they can do the very opposite. In boys and men, the abuse of anabolic steroids can reduce sperm production, shrink the testicles, and cause impotence and irreversible breast enlargement. Girls and women can develop more masculine characteristics such as deepening of the voice and excessive body hair."

In addition to the public service announcements, NIDA has a Research Report: Anabolic Steroid Abuse and other information about the health effects of these drugs on its website.