In a more competitive world, high school athletes feel they need to do something dangerous and drastic to get the upper hand. The use of performance enhancing drugs has always been a part of sports on the elite level, but now high school athletes feel they need something to get an edge on the rest of the field. The use of performance enhancing drugs in high school has risen from 5% to 11% in boys and from .5% to 2.5% in girls.
The use of performance enhancing drugs take away from what sports are all about. It undermines the payoff of hard work and allows less dedicated athletes to surpass the true stars. Some have said that one should be the best they can be when participating in athletics, and that performance enhancing drugs help them get there. These statements are true, performance enhancing drugs are good at what they do. They can increase muscle function and growth, thus making the athlete more powerful, but it isn’t natural. The best you can be should be the best you can be without the help of an outside source.
Over half of high schoolers who take performance enhancing drugs participate in high school sports like football, wrestling, and track and field, where being more powerful is a tremendous advantage. It is important to take note of the fact that a large percentage of users don’t participate in a school sponsored sport. It is likely that they participate in activities like weightlifting and bodybuilding, where building muscle is important.
High school students need to be informed about the side effects that performance enhancing drugs have on their body, such as liver damage, acne, and negative changes of physique. There are also studies that show a correlation of steroids and a decrease in academic success. Educational seminars have proven successful in higher levels of athletics, but these seminars need to be directed to middle and high school students. These seminars will help kids see that there is more to sports than just winning.