Substance Abuse

Study Finds Few Americans Consider Steroids Abuse a Big Problem

Steroids abuse has been linked to a number of adverse health effects, yet most American adults do not think it’s a massive concern compared to other drugs of abuse, eating disorders, obesity or sexually transmitted diseases.

Of the 1,002  people surveyed by The Gallup Organization, 97 percent believe steroids negatively impact the health but only 19 percent consider steroids abuse a huge problem among high school students.

The American Public’s Perception of Illegal Steroid Use survey, conducted Oct. 9 to Nov. 10, was commissioned by the Taylor Hooton Foundation, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society.  It is by far the most comprehensive opinion survey that assesses Americans’ knowledge, perceptions and beliefs about the use of performance-enhancing substances among youths.

“The results of this study show that steroids and performance-enhancing substances remain a mystery to the American public,” Jeff Idelson, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, said at a news conference held last week.

According to a news release, the survey was conducted to provide a foundation for a national dialogue about the misconceptions of steroid use, as well as education on the harmful impact of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.

The survey also found that 64 percent of respondents believe high school boys are likely to use performance-enhancing substances, while 21 percent believe high school girls are likely to use performance-enhancing substances. More than 60 percent think steroid abuse is a problem among professional athletes, and just 46 percent consider it a problem among college athletes. Only 17 percent believe that steroid use is a significant concern among student athletes in high school.

Don Hooton, Founder of the Taylor Hooton Foundation, says the latest findings should serve as a wakeup call for America to address the problem of steroid abuse. “We must realize that the solution to this problem begins with raising the awareness level of this drug problem,” he added.

Hooton is urging the federal government to launch an educational effort because even though 75 percent of the polled Americans were okay with drug testing student athletes, 55 percent would choose education if only this option is available and only 44 percent would submit to a drug screening, The Associated Press reports.

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