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

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