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Steroid Usage
Hello,

I just spent the weekend supporting my son participating in a level 4 bodybuidling contest.  He is only 20 years old.  He participated in his first contest in April 2007.  He won 2nd (only two participants) and I could tell how disappointed he was.  I was visiting him during the subsequent holidays and inadvertently found a syringe and knew that it was associated with steroid usage.  I took my time before I brought it to my son's attention that I knew he was using steroids.  It was technically too late to try to exert influence because he was already on a scheduled cycle.  I was able to stay calm and he did share with me that he did two cycles of steroids that included:  Testosterone; (EQ) Equiopose; Oral Turanaol; DECCA; HCG; gasix dieuretics.  There is a chance that my son ommitted some ingredient because he knows I will look it up and he does not want me to worry.  Besides the person getting him these products I am the only one that knows and he wants to negotiate with me that I will keep things a secret from everyone else in his life.  He is also a student in college and has had problems with his grades and he is on a prescription of Adderell.  He was developmentally tested in 5th grade and has ADHD tendencies.  His Father and I did not want to use prescription drugs while he was in primary school but now his grades are critical with him getting into the school at the University that he desires.  I was hoping that something would happen this weekend with the contest he participated in that would allow him to decide that he does not want to continue down this path.  There were 3 contestants in his weight class and David placed 3rd place.  I could tell he was disappointed and he wants to continue pursuing this hobby.  I want to educate my son about the addiction aspects of what he is choosing.  I want to have a calm conversation with him and help him think through questioning himself "If you choose any hobby in the world why are you choosing something that is a felony, that you have to hide from everyone in your life?"  Addiction is hereditarily prevalent on both sides of my son's family.  I am free from all addictions and very much want to guide my son to have freedom from all addictions.  I am trying to not stress out because I believe all kids experiment at his age.  He did gain 30 lbs. of muscle from his steroid usage.  But it is a lure that ultimately will take him nowhere.  Can you think of any ideas, facts, research, etc that can help me parent my 20 year old son?  Thank you for your support!

Mary LaPlante
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Steroid usage is definitely alluring for a body builder, who wants to compete, and bulk up fast. But what they don't realize many times are the potential side effects. Steroids are found naturally in the body, and are necessary to life, but if a person artificially introduces steroids into their system, their body stops producing its own, natural steroids because it thinks that it has plently. So after the person goes off of steroids, it could be very hard- and life threatening if done abruptly because the body is not producing any of its own steroids. This adrenal suppression happens surprisingly early in steroid use, so it is advised that a person have tapered dosages of steroids to discontinue their use.
Another side effect that should worry most any man would be that steroid usage has a tendency to cause wasting of the gonads (reproductive organs). This is an especially demasculinizing side effect. They have also been linked to heart disease, strokes, and death, all of which have been known to happen very young (under 50y/o) in those who use steroids without the supervision of a doctor.
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