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Performance Enhancing Supplements and Party Drugs.
By Greg Shepard
Published: Winter 2001
One million teens between 12 and 17 may be taking performance enhancing substances in order to improve athletic performance, build muscle or to just look better. This estimate was determined through a survey commissioned by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Creatine was the enhancer cited most often. Steroids were the next most frequently cited. Party drugs such as Ecstacy, ketamine and GHB are on the rise. As many as seven percent of high school students may have used Ecstacy within the last year. What would an eleven do? On a scale of one to ten, an eleven wants to reach his/her highest personal standards of excellence and help others to do the same. So, how does the use of performance enhancing substances fit into our definition of an eleven? How about party drugs? If you have a true desire to be an eleven, can you use these substances? Creatine: Creatine is a compound found in skeletal muscle. Athletes use it because they think that extra Creatine will help muscles work harder and longer. It is available as an over-the-counter supplement. This means it is legal. There is even a product called "Cookies n' Creatine." One web site sells Creatine as the "Teen Creatine Advantage." Creatine may cause cramps, dehydration and nausea in some athletes. This supplement may also cause kidney damage in some people. Long term side effects are still not known although there seems to be growing evidence that creatine may be harmful in the long term. Steroids: They are illegal. It is a felony to be caught with them or selling steroids. Steroids can have very serious consequences. I thought steroids were almost a non-issue until recently. There is strong evidence that steroids are making a big comeback with youth. Steroids cause serious immediate side effects as well as long term side effects. Ecstacy: The most popular party drug. It is stealing dreams from athletes, non-athletes and teams. It is an issue that all coaches, parents and schools must address. Ecstacy is illegal. There are murders being committed to establish party drug territories. Ecstacy is found at clubs, rave dances and all over. There are serious short term and potentially long term side effects. Have kids died from involvement with party drugs like ecstacy? Of course, many. Have dreams been shattered? Of course, many, many more. Several months ago, for example, fifty-five were arrested in Colorado and California for dealing in Ecstacy, and other drugs. One of the dosages of Ecstacy sold is being blamed in the death of Brittney Chambers. Three of those arrested could be sentenced to life in prison. Friends of Brittney bought her the drug for her 16th birthday. Of those arrested some were Air Force Academy cadets and airmen at various Colorado bases. True Elevens: Creatine: BFS does not sell or endorse creatine. We want to take a leadership position. The BFS Program is so designed that the so-called benefits of creatine are not needed. True elevens have the ability to think ahead in life many years down the road. Therefore, the issue of living as healthy as possible for as long as you can is an eleven type principle. Even though creatine is perfectly legal, I do not think a true eleven would take it. What do you think? Steroids: They are illegal. True elevens do not take chances with felonies, short term risks or long term risks. Ecstacy: Same thing. For more info: www.drugabuse.gov , www.clubdrugs.org. or get the Be An Eleven Student/Athlete Guidebook For Success.