Health supplement use can be ‘gateway’ to steroid use
A report released to CTV News shows that steroids are being used by high school students in Waterloo Region.
But while only six of the 700 students surveyed admitted to steroid use, approximately 250 said they’re using some form of health supplement.
Nearly 10 per cent of students surveyed responded that they’re using three or more such supplements.
University of Waterloo athletic director Bob Copeland says while health supplements themselves can be harmless, they can also lead to steroid use.
“The students who admitted to using steroids are using two or more supplements,” he tells CTV News.
“There’s a greater willingness – almost look at it as a gateway – for people who are using to supplements to consider using steroids.”
Joshawa Aires, a Grade 12 student, says he’s careful not to cross through that gateway – even though he was first offered steroids as a 16-year-old at a local gym.
“I was talking to one guy – he was fairly big, four or five times my size --- and he asked me ‘Hey, you want to try some?’” Aires says.
Aires turned down that offer, and simply by using dietary supplements purchased from local health stores, put on more than 50 pounds in two months.
What made him want to do that?
“(It’s) just to impress, pretty much,” he says.”
“You see a girl who has a nice body and you just want to have the same thing.”
Experts say peer pressure is another reason for young students to use steroids – especially when sports are involved.
“Competition is intense. There may be a hundred students trying out for a team,” says Dr. Doug Dittmer of the Waterloo Sport Medicine Centre.
CTV’s Meghan Furman is investigating the use of steroids in Waterloo Region high schools in a special series airing this week on CTV News.