The number of teen athletes who experimented with performance enhancing substances has doubled in the last year. 22news is working for you with a look at why taking those substances without a prescription can be a major health risk.
“I think their role models do it so they do it, and there’s probably a lot of kids that want to get into the sport professionally so they think that’s that way to do it, maybe,” Tony Saloio, from Springfield, said.
HGH, or human growth hormone, is a synthetic substance usually used to treat adults with a growth hormone deficiency as a way to increase muscle mass, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Despite the fact that it’s not legal outside it’s medical use, some professional athletes like Cyclist Lance Armstrong have admitted to or have been accused of using it.
Now, new research shows an increased number of teens are trying HGH. 11 % of high-school aged teens admitted to trying H-G-H at least once in 2013, a 5 % increase from the year before.
The study from a Partnership for drug-free kids found that a big attraction to the synthetic substances was the hope that it would help them perform better out on the athletic field. Findings that one father in Springfield told 22News he believes are not worth the health risks.
“If you competing, you like to play whatever sport you like to play, that time that you get to play it, that’s it! If that’s it, that’s it. I mean you don’t try to extend it with drugs,” Itill Wiggins, from Springfield, said.
The Mayo Clinic warns that HGH comes with a number of side affects including swelling in your arms and legs, joint and muscle pain, diabetes, and heart disease, but few studies on the growth hormone’s risks are limited.