The stakes are high for today’s aspiring athletes. The rewards for being big, strong, quick and fast entice some kids to â€œget an edgeâ€ on competition. Performance-enhancing drugs (PED) include anabolic steroids which build muscle mass by stimulating protein growth, and human growth hormones which stimulate natural sex steroids such as testosterone and estrogen, also to increase body mass. Recent surveys have documented the use of these illegal and unapproved drugs by American high school athletes. Recent studies have also found these drugs are increasingly being used by this age group to improve appearance. Advocates warn there have not been any studies to determine the safe or long-term consumption levels of PEDs for children. All PEDs have adverse side effects and many advocates believe the use of these drugs will shorten one’s lifespan. Studies have found that up to 12% of boys and 3% of girls are using anabolic steroids in high school. Most of these students began using at 16 and many have done multiple cycles. Studies have also found that nearly 4% of our middle school students, ages 9 to 13, are using steroids. In 1995, our Supreme Court ruled that PED testing for high school athletes is constitutional. Supporters say that testing serves as a deterrent and also offers students a way to say no to these dangerous drugs.
Pending Legislation: None
I oppose reforming current youth sports performance enhancing drug policy
I support identifying a legislator who will sponsor a bill establishing a program to research the use of performance-enhancing drugs by junior high and high school athletes; and funding educational substance abuse prevention and intervention programs, including drug testing, related to the use of PEDs for students in this age group