Concerns raised about steroid use
Community leaders, police suspect an increased prevalence of the muscle-building drugs
Community leaders and law enforcement officers in the Carbonear area are raising concerns about what they believe is an increasing prevalence of steroid use among a small group of young males.
Const. John Hedges of the Trinity Conception District RCMP confirmed last week that an active investigation is ongoing into the trafficking of steroids in the region.
“During the past year we have seen a rise in steroid-related occurrences in the Trinity Conception district, some of which did involve high school students in the area,” Hedges stated.
The Compass started asking questions after a community leader in the region raised serious concerns about the issue.
The source asked to remain anonymous, but suggested it was time to make the public aware of the situation.
In a written statement to the paper, the source wrote the following: “enhancements have altered the students’ mood, increased aggression, resulted in loss of attention and focus of students during school studies. Students have been known to gain large amounts of weight and overall physical size in short periods of time, which is not the norm with conventional strength and conditioning programs.”
The source added: “there is an increased use of creatine, protein and other performance enhancing drugs in the CBN area.”
Hedges said the issue is being treated “very seriously,” though he couldn’t say if the problem is any greater than in any other region of the province.
He said there have not been any arrests or charges, but added: “We have identified individuals believed to be responsible in the trafficking of steroids. As with any other type of drug trafficking, police are dedicated to investigating and arresting those responsible.”
Anabolic steroids and their derivatives are classified under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act as Schedule IV, meaning it is illegal to obtain or sell them without a prescription.
At Carbonear Collegiate, the issue has been on the radar of the school administration. Principal Eddie Russell said concerns have been raised that “some teens may be experimenting with illegal steroids.”
But Russell was quick to point out that he has no proof.
“We have 450 students here in school, and I can’t say for sure there’s none of it. We’re concerned about a small number of students who may be experimenting with steroids. And when I say small, I mean very small. You’re talking not even one per cent.”
Russell added, “We have no evidence or witnessed anything (in) regards to changes in students here at the school.”
Russell said the dangers of steroid use is communicated to students, similar to the pitfalls of other drugs, including alcohol.
The Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine and Science website outlines the risks of using steroids.
“Anabolic steroids are effective in enhancing athletic performance. The trade- off, however, is the occurrence of adverse side effects, which can jeopardize health. Since anabolic steroids have effects on several organ systems, a myriad of side effects can be found.
“One of the problems with athletes, in particular strength athletes and bodybuilders, is the use of oral and parenteral anabolic steroids at the same time (“stacking”), and in dosages which may be several (up to 40 times) the recommended therapeutical dosage. The frequency and severity of side effects is quite variable.
“Anabolic steroids may exert a profound adverse effect on the liver. This is particularly true for orally administered anabolic steroids,” the Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine and Science website states.
“We’ve had one-on-one informal group discussions with teachers or with students. Coaches (also) have (talks) with students and athletes all the time. If the possibility is there I say, ‘Guys, this is a health risk.’ It’s no different than speaking about drugs and alcohol that (are) more prevalent in the community and school. If (students) do make that choice, they need to understand what possible long-term health risks are associated with it.”
The Compass raised the issue with a group of Carbonear Collegiate students huddled under the shade of trees in a small clearing across the road from the school last week.
They all agreed if any fellow students are using steroids, it is an isolated case involving no more than one or two students.
Hedges said young people should be very aware of the negative side effects of taking performance enhancing drugs.
“Steroids can take a heavy toll on a person’s health. Abuse of oral or injectable anabolic steroids is associated with increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, and the abuse of most oral anabolic steroids is also associated with increased risk for severe liver problems, including hepatic cancer.”
Andriol (testosterone) is a prescription steroid which comes in capsule form. A syringe is used to inject prescription steroids which also come in liquid form. Under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, anabolic steroids and their derivatives are illegal to obtain or sell without a prescription.