Teenager Steroid Dealer Keeps Secret from Parents

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The disturbing news about the use of anabolic steroids in teenagers continues in South Africa as a local newspaper interviews a teenager steroid dealer. The Times LIVE in Johannesburg recently interviewed a 16-year old boy they called “Marcus” about steroids in high school.

Marcus buys steroids from a friend and sells them to his peers. The teenage boy uses Facebook and Blackberry Messenger to sell the performance and image enhancing drugs to boys and girls at his school.

“Marcus” pays R400 for 100 steroid tablets and sells them for R500 in an average week. His weekly profit is R100. One hundred South African rands is approximately $13 U.S. dollars. This may be more of an attempt to finance his own steroid use rather than make money.

Marcus is not the only teenager at his school that sells steroids. He told the Times LIVE that his parents are oblivious to his steroid dealing. Other parents of steroid dealers think their children are selling dietary supplements. Marcus even was aware of some parents who applauded the entrepreneurial abilities of their steroid dealing children.

Earlier this year, Drug Detection International tested high school students for steroids at eighteen top schools in Johannesburg. Twenty-one students out of 130 tested were found to be using steroids. The majority participated in organized sports such as rugby but a fair number of steroid users were not involved in sports.

Times LIVE also interviewed “Shaun” who described the motivations behind non-athletes who choose to use steroids as teenagers.

“I got pushed around a lot [by stronger boys], but when I started taking the steroids I got bigger and was able to stand up for myself,” explained Shaun. “‘The only benefit that they delivered was a quick increase in my size.”

Shaun’s lack of any obvious negative steroid side effects is not uncommon. The positive side effects from the initial use of steroids often overshadow the negative effects from the drugs. The lack of significant side effects leads many teenagers to discredit anti-steroid advocates and educators who use scare tactics to deter teens from using steroids.

“I have seen permanent physical and psychological effects from just a single course of anabolic steroids,” Dr. Jon Patricios tries to tell South African teens. “The culture of anabolic steroid use is no different to that of social drug use, driven by peer pressure and sustained by drug dealers.”

Unfortunately, these type of scare tactics are usually dismissed by students. Certainly, there are better approaches to steroid education that can be more effective at deterring steroid use among teens in South Africa.

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Rushmere, A. (October 24, 2011). BAD BUILD: More brawn than brains. Retrieved from http://www.timeslive.co.za/lifestyle/2011/10/24/bad-build-more-brawn-than-brains