VIRGINIA BEACH--Disgraced Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong's recent confession that he used performance- enhancing drugs has renewed attention to the banned substances, including steroids, in professional sports.
Now comes news they’re not just being used by athletes who want to bulk. A study from the University of Minnesota shows some teen girls are using steroids to emulate the personalities created by Madison Avenue and Rodeo Drive.
Jim White, a personal trainer and dietitian in Va. Beach, says there is a narrowing gap between the number of boys and the number of girls using steroids.
"Six to eight percent of high school males are using steroids, and four to five percent of high school females are using steroids," says White.
Testosterone, nandrolone, stanozolol, methandienone and boldenone are among the drugs that are tracked from the Drug Enforcement Administration. Many of those substances, which are easy to find on the internet are cleverly packaged in creams, patches, liquid drops and tablets.
One website even shows what appears to be a positive review from a customer in Norfolk. The January 3 post stated, "Thanks, good deal."
According to the Association Against Steroids Abuse, the drugs can lead to long-term health problem including damage to the male reproductive system, weak tendons, heart disease, liver disease and so-called "roid rage" with displays of aggression or irritability. White says girls on steroids also have intense mood swings that can include bouts of depression.
"The negatives outweigh the positives," explains White.
White has a number of teens and young adult clients at his gym in Virginia Beach and says he is on the lookout for signs of steroid use.
"A deepened voice in women, hair on the face. With men, a lot of acne, and [premature] male baldness," White says.
According to the Association Against Steroid Abuse, the Drug Enforcement Administration classifies steroids as a schedule III drug, the same classification given to LSD.
The illegal possession of these substances can be prosecuted in federal court or state court. According to AASA, minors convicted of possession could end up in juvenile prison and their drivers license can be suspended.