PHOENIX — A new study released by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids showed a major rise in American teenagers using human growth hormones, also referred to as performance-enhancing drugs.
The survey shows that 11 percent of teens in grades 9-12 reported having used synthetic human growth hormone without a prescription, up from just five percent in 2012. There were no state-specific numbers released, but Leslie Bloom with DrugFreeAZKids.org said the study uncovered a disturbing trend.
“Teens are really interested in performance-enhancing substances, so it’s a wake-up call for parents in Arizona to really be vigilant about any type of drugs that their children could be using.”
Bloom said just 1.7 percent of Arizona teens grades 8-12 use steroids.
She added the message of the dangers of using steroids is getting to teens, but they appear to be ignoring that same message when it comes to using other illegal substances.
“Just for drugs in general, the average age of first time drug use in Arizona is 13 years old. And today we know that 90 percent of drug addictions start in the teen years.”
If you’re unsure if your teen is using PEDs, Bloom gave a few warning signs.
“I think the obvious sign is physique, a change in how your child looks. HGH mimics the muscle-building effects of steroids, so if you notice a change, consult a physician right away.”
Negative effects of using HGH include muscle and joint pains, swelling, high cholesterol, increased risk of diabetes and growth of tumors.
- The best places to celebrate Fall in Phoenix
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- 2016 baseball highlights, bloopers and blunders
- See how CFOs really feel about business in the Valley
- The best television shows on the internet
- A preseason guide to avoid holiday weight gain
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier