Principal’s comments on steroid use challenged
I enjoyed your article (“Concerns raised about steroid use,” Dec. 6 edition of The Compass) this morning on the rising concerns that our youth, both males and females, have a growing interest in what we like to call Appearance and Performance Enhancing Drugs (APED).
This year we will reach 150,000 people with our APED educational programs. We have done extensive work at the collegiate level in Canada as they have realized this is a growing problem amongst their kids.
My main concern in the article would be the dangerous comments that Principal Eddie Russell is delivering to the media.
Even when a user is taking APED’S, proving it is very tough ... not only to the trained eye, but also to testing. When comments such as Mr. Russell’s are made, I think we need to challenge the comments. How is he so sure that the usage of APED’S in the school are not even one percent? Does the school have an active anabolic steroid testing policy? Has Mr. Russell been trained how to spot users of these particular drugs?
The principal was quoted as saying:” 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.”
This is a VERY different drug than your normal alcohol and drug abuse discussions within the schools. Anabolic Steroids and the use of dietary supplements doesn’t fall under the normal category of drug and alcohol education, therefore it’s missed.
My guess would be there are more kids in the school who use dietary supplements on a day-to- day basis than the kids who are using drugs and alcohol. The general consensus of our experts will show you that 20 to 25 per cent of over-the-counter supplements have been spiked with some form of Anabolic Steroid.
Thank you for your time and your attention to this very important issue.
Donald M. Hooton Jr. is vice-president of educational programs with the Taylor Hooton Foundation. He writes from Frisco, Texas