Teens and Steroids: A Dangerous Combo

anabolic-steroidsTeens are particularly at risk for adverse effects associated with anabolic steroids—possible mood swings, aggressive behavior, heart and liver disease, shrinkage of the testes, and menstrual irregularities in women.

Ali Mohamadi, M.D., a medical officer in the Food and Drug Administration’s Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products, warns teens and parents about the dangers of steroid use. Teens are particularly at risk for adverse effects associated with anabolic steroids—possible mood swings, aggressive behavior, heart and liver disease, shrinkage of the testes in males, and menstrual irregularities in women.

The abuse of anabolic steroids can cause both temporary and permanent injury to anyone using them. Teenagers, whose bodies are still developing, are at heightened risk.

An alarming number of them are trying steroids in hopes of improving their athletic prowess or their appearance. Ali Mohamadi warns teens and parents about the dangers of steroid use.

Q: What are anabolic steroids and how many teens use them?

A: They are drugs that mimic the actions of the male sex hormone testosterone. This includes promoting the growth of cells, especially in muscle, and maintaining or increasing male physical characteristics. Various studies have been conducted and generally reflect the findings of a Youth Risk and Behavior Surveillance System study, which estimated that among U.S. high school students, 4.9% of males and 2.4% of females have used anabolic steroids at least once in their lives. That’s 375,000 young men and 175,000 young women.

Q. What are the side effects of taking anabolic steroids?

A: They are known to have a range of serious adverse effects on many organ systems, and in many cases the damage is not reversible. They include fertility problems, impotence, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and heart and liver abnormalities. Boys may experience shrinkage of the testes or the development of breast tissue; girls may experience menstrual irregularities and development of masculine qualities such as facial and body hair. Both may experience acne. Both boys and girls may also experience mood swings and aggressive behavior, which can impact the lives not only of those taking steroids, but of everyone around them.

Q: Are prescriptions needed to get steroids?

A: Yes, in fact anabolic steroids are classified as Schedule III Controlled Substances by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration with strict regulations, meaning that not only is a prescription required, but there are extra controls. For example, it is illegal to possess them without a prescription in the United States, and in most circumstances the prescription must be in written form and cannot be called in to a pharmacist. Labels on some steroids recommend testing of hormone levels during use.

The number of FDA-approved uses is limited. Most are prescribed as a replacement for sub-normal levels of steroids. They are also prescribed for conditions such as muscle wasting, poor wound healing, and very specific pulmonary or bone marrow disorders.

A health care professional can prescribe steroids off-label, meaning for conditions other than those that are FDA-approved. But children, particularly teens, are getting access to steroids and taking them for reasons far outside of their intended use.

Q: So how are teens getting access?

A: Some get prescriptions from a licensed practitioner for such purposes as introducing puberty to boys who are “late bloomers” or to stimulate growth among teens who are failing to grow. Some may be dealing with unscrupulous clinics or street dealers on the black market. Unfortunately, a number of vendors sell anabolic steroids online without a prescription. Individuals should also be aware that some dietary supplements advertised for body building may unlawfully include steroids or steroid-like substances, and the ingredient statement on the label may not include that information.

Q: What is the FDA doing to prevent those illegal sales?

A: FDA is taking a number of steps to discourage these practices. Action has been taken against illegal online distributors who sell steroids without valid prescriptions, but an ongoing problem is that you can take one site down and another pops up.

The challenge is intensified by the fact that many online providers don’t accurately advertise the contents of the products they sell, they may be operating outside the U.S., and the drugs aren’t prescribed by a licensed practitioner who can help individuals weigh the risks and benefits. In such cases, individuals may have no idea what they are taking, what the appropriate dose should be, or what levels of control and safety went into the manufacturing process. These facts make the risks of taking anabolic steroids bought without a prescription even greater than they otherwise would be.

Q: What would you say to a teen you knew was tempted by steroids?

A: I would emphasize both the short and long-term potential for serious harm to their health. Rather than making you look or perform better, steroids will more likely cause unfavorable results that could affect you for life. I would also remind them that there are a number of ways to increase muscle mass and athletic performance, including a sensible regimen of exercise and diet, without resorting to extreme and dangerous therapies.

Q: What would you like to say to parents?

A: Parents tend not to believe their teens would consider taking anabolic steroids, but the truth is that the frequency of steroid use in this age group is far greater than many would guess.

During this time of year, when children are in school and getting back into their athletic routines, parents should watch for potential signs of abuse. Mood swings are among the first side effects to show up, and steroid use may lead to mania or depression. Acne is also an early side effect and can be followed by breast development in boys or increased body hair in girls. A surprising gain of muscle mass should also raise questions. It’s a problem that is as real as it is surprising.

http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm373014.htm?source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

Reason, Season, or a Lifetime

glassPeople come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

When you figure out which it is, you will know exactly what to do.

Some people come into our lives and quickly go..

Some people become friends and stay awhile…

leaving beautiful footprints on our hearts…

and we are never quite the same because we have made a good friend!!!

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person or people involved; and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships, and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

When you read this, just recite the following prayer.
That’s all you have to do. There is nothing else attached.
This is the power of prayer at work.

May today there be peace within you.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities
that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received,
and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing that you are a child of God.
Let His presence settle into your bones,
and allow your soul the freedom to sing,
dance, and to bask in the sun.
It is there for each and every one of you.

The Awesome Power of Prayer

Parents and children both affected by substance misuse

Children and teenagers recognised too as perpetrators

A new report has identified parents as sufferers of abuse and violence from substance misusing children. The report by Adfam and Against Violence and Abuse (AVA) explores and documents Child to Parent Violence (CPV) and consulted with 88 parents seeking support from services.

Key findings from the research found:
  • Children as young as 11 and as old as 40 are physically, emotionally and/or mentally abusing their parents
  • There is a significant correlation between substance misuse and perpetrating domestic violence
  • 88% of victims of abuse were female and 12% were male
  • That abuses range from lower grade emotional manipulation to at the extreme end deaths.
  • Metropolitan Police Service records show that in 2009, 6 out of 7 non-partner/ex partner victims were mothers or fathers killed by sons – with substance misuse or mental health problems considered a key factor

The report makes recommendation including calls for better understanding of CPV, how to respond to requests for help and referral mechanisms are needed for front-line workers (such as police, social workers and GPs. It argues family support services are a cost effective resource, providing essential support to parents at a fraction of the cost that other health and social care services.

Children’s Commissioner re-iterates calls for protection of children

A new report from the Children’s Commissioner urges the Government to give as much attention to alcohol abuse among parents as to other drug misuse, and to train the relevant authorities to spot the signs of problem drinking in families earlier. See BBC report.

The Children’s Commissioner exists to promote the best interests of children and young people in England. It’s report suggest more than a fifth of all children in the UK, approximately 2.5 million, are living with a hazardous drinker (risky) drinker. The research also suggests 26,000 babies in England are living with a parent who is a dependent drinker, which is equivalent to 31,000 across the UK.

Emotional Eating

Overeaters Anonymous Offers Support for Emotional Eating

Overeaters Anonymous World Service Office

If you have struggled with your weight, you probably accept that you have a weight problem. But you may also have an eating problem. A key to maintaining a healthy weight is balance—in your diet and in your lifestyle. How and why you eat, however, can help determine if you have an eating problem.

Compulsive overeating, anorexia and other food issues are often triggered by emotions rather than hunger. The consequences of emotional eating run deeper than weight management. They impact your relationships, social life, self-image and overall health. Recovery requires more than willpower: it requires support to help you understand the links between your emotions and eating behavior.

Overeaters Anonymous (OA) offers a program of recovery from issues with food using a holistic approach that addresses individual physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. Built on a Twelve Step program patterned after Alcoholics Anonymous, OA offers social support, strength, encouragement and hope through meetings and other tools while respecting each other’s anonymity. There are no fees or dues—OA is supported by voluntary member contributions.

"For many members, OA is an excellent supplement to the professional healthcare services they receive," said Naomi Lippel, Managing Director for Overeaters Anonymous. "OA offers an ongoing support system and a program that has proven effective for thousands who have suffered from compulsive eating behaviors."

OA welcomes anyone suffering from an eating problem ranging from anorexia to binge-eating at any of its more than 7000 OA group meetings worldwide. For more information or to be put in contact with an OA representative, please call Tina Carroll at (636) 328-0216 or email her at media@oa.org.

About Overeaters Anonymous: Overeaters Anonymous, Inc. (OA), is a non-profit organization with the goal of supporting its members as they seek recovery from compulsive eating behaviors. More than fifty years since its founding, today OA serves approximately 54,000 members in over 75 countries. For more information, go to www.oa.org.

Alcohol and Energy Drinks: A Dangerous Cocktail – - TIME Healthland

 Alcohol and Energy Drinks: A Dangerous Cocktail – - TIME Healthland.

Mixing alcohol with other substances is never really a good idea, and pairing it with energy drinks may be especially hazardous.

That might seem obvious, but the results of a new study published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research provide some interesting insights into why. Cecile Marczinski, a psychologist at Northern Kentucky University, found that combining energy drinks such as Red Bull with vodka or other liquors effectively removes any built-in checks your body has for overindulging.

When you drink alcohol by itself, it initially induces a feeling of happiness — a comfortable buzz. But when you overindulge, your body knows it, and it starts to shut down; you start feeling tired, sleepy and more sedated than stimulated. “That’s your cue to go home to bed,” says Marczinski.

My Last Cup

Australia New Zealand L58

No longer a slave to the poker machines

For finally, I have broken their wicked spell

And each time temptation tries to lure me back

I just remember ‘my living hell.’

The tangled web of lies, ‘constant’ and ugly deceit

Sleepless nights of ‘frantic worry’

‘No food left to eat.’

The fear of opening up my mail box to find another

‘I can’t pay it bill’

Eventually they stole it all

No longer giving me ‘that thrill.’

The tormented thoughts of ‘self hatred’

Of the longing to ‘simply die’

Empty, guilt filled nights

‘No tears left to cry.’

‘Yes’, in the beginning the pokies helped me feel

‘Exhilarated, happy, content and alive’

The ‘sounds of lights, the free spins’

‘So much pleasure’ I derived.

The atmosphere ‘most welcoming’

Giving me a sense of security, comfort

I felt a ‘warmth all around’

And as the coffee, cakes and biscuits flowed

I felt ‘so safe and sound.’

The endless ‘jackpots’ and ‘giveaways’

I actually believed I had the ‘Midas touch’

But in the end I lost all sense of reality

And ‘my self, pretty much.’

And all of my old friendships

I had pushed aside ‘long ago’

I think to myself…‘if only’ I knew back then

‘What today I now know.’

I remember clearly that day

When I finally reached into ‘my last cup’

‘I looked down and saw it bare’

And I realised in that moment

‘What I needed, I would never find it there.’

Jen

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Guilt Advertising Promotes More Drinking

don't drink and drive Guilt-Based Anti-Alcohol Ads Can Backfire, Study Finds

Using shame or guilt to try to prevent overconsumption of alcohol can actually cause people to drink more, researchers say.

Researcher Adam Duhachek of the Indiana Kelley School of Business and colleagues said that ads that link alcohol abuse to negative consequences like blackouts and automobile crashes in order to elicit feelings of shame or guilt can trigger a defensive coping mechanism. This can lead viewers to believe that bad things related to drinking can only happen to others and can actually increase irresponsible drinking, researchers said.

"The public health and marketing communities expend considerable effort and capital on these campaigns but have long suspected they were less effective than hoped," said Duhachek. "But the situation is worse than wasted money or effort. These ads ultimately may do more harm than good because they have the potential to spur more of the behavior they’re trying to prevent."

A better approach might be to educate the public about the negatives associated with drinking but link that message to one of empowerment, said Duhachek. "If you’re going to communicate a frightening scenario, temper it with the idea that it’s avoidable," he said.

The study will be published in the Journal of Marketing Research.

From Join Together

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Anti drinking ads can increase alcohol use

Grapes and Wine 76 Anti drinking ads can increase alcohol use, Indiana University Kelley School study shows

Public service advertising campaigns that use guilt or shame to warn against alcohol abuse can actually have the reverse effect, spurring increased drinking among target audiences, according to new research from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.

Instead of the intended outcome, researchers in this first-of-its-kind study showed that the ads triggered an innate coping mechanism that enables viewers to distance themselves from the serious consequences of reckless drinking.

Anti- or "responsible" drinking campaigns have long been a mainstay of health departments, nonprofit organizations and even beverage companies. Yet alcohol abuse remains a persistent and growing problem linked to the deaths of approximately 79,000 people in the United States each year.

"The public health and marketing communities expend considerable effort and capital on these campaigns but have long suspected they were less effective than hoped," said Adam Duhachek, a marketing professor and co-author of the study. "But the situation is worse than wasted money or effort. These ads ultimately may do more harm than good because they have the potential to spur more of the behavior they’re trying to prevent."

Duhachek’s research specifically explores anti-drinking ads that link to the many possible adverse results of alcohol abuse, such as blackouts and car accidents, while eliciting feelings of shame and guilt. Findings show such messages are too difficult to process among viewers already experiencing these emotions — for example, those who already have alcohol-related transgressions.

To cope, they adopt a defensive mindset that allows them to underestimate their susceptibility to the consequences highlighted in the ads; that is, that the consequences happen only to "other people." The result is they engage in greater amounts of irresponsible drinking, according to respondents.

"Advertisements are capable of bringing forth feelings so unpleasant that we’re compelled to eliminate them by whatever means possible," said Duhachek. "This motivation is sufficiently strong to convince us we’re immune to certain risks."

The findings are particularly relevant for U.S. universities, where alcohol abuse threatens the well-being of an entire generation, he said. Each year, drinking among college students contributes to an estimated 1,700 student deaths, 600,000 injuries, 700,000 assaults, 90,000 sexual assaults and 474,000 cases of unprotected sex.

The unintended negative impact of employing shame and guilt in these ads has implications for a wider range of health related messaging, from smoking cessation to preventing sexually transmitted diseases. According to Duhachek, shame- and guilt-inducing campaigns that seek to curb these behaviors can have the same unintentional backfire effects.

Duhachek encourages marketers looking to influence drinking and other behaviors to convey dire consequences along with messages of empowerment. For instance, providing strategies to control one’s drinking or recalling instances where one resisted the temptation to engage in risky drinking behavior may provide a pathway to reducing these undesirable behaviors more effectively.

"If you’re going to communicate a frightening scenario, temper it with the idea that it’s avoidable," he said. "It’s best to use the carrot along with the stick."

Duhachek developed the study with Nidhi Agrawal at the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University. They interviewed more than 1,200 undergraduate students after showing them shame- and guilt-inducing advertisements, which they specifically created for the research. To ensure no biases on the part of respondents, the team opted not to rely on existing campaigns.

The resulting paper, "Emotional Compatibility and the Effectiveness of Anti-Drinking Messages: A Defensive Processing Perspective on Shame and Guilt" is forthcoming in the Journal of Marketing Research.

Courtesy of Indiana University.