(Long Island, N.Y.) Young men and women today are bombarded by images of “the perfect body”. Magazine covers, television, movies…it’s almost impossible to ignore. Survival of the fittest has expanded to survival of the biggest—muscles are big business these days and kids today will do whatever it takes to meet the impossible ideals of a “killer body”. Jeff Rutstein, a former bodybuilder, knows all too well the price to be paid for obtaining that “killer body”.
For three and a half years, Rutstein was addicted to anabolic steroids, nearly died from his addiction and now he is a man on a mission, spreading the word about the dangers of taking this illegal drug. Steroids can be a “gateway drug” and the use and abuse can be deadly. He speaks out to high school students as a guy who’s been there, done that, and although he survived his addiction, he describes himself as “lucky”.
What are the hazards? Severe acne, hair loss, liver disease, aggressive behavior, jaundice, kidney damage and depression are just a few. “It’s not worth it!” says Rutstein, who is now a respected fitness trainer who promotes a mind-body approach to exercise.
In his book, THE STEROID DECEIT: A BODY WORTH DYING FOR, Rutstein tells a very personal and emotional cautionary tale.The book packs a punch with hard facts and a personal story to help parents, coaches, athletes and young people know the real dangers of steroid use. He now crusades to keep youngsters from the grip of this stealthy drug. And if you think only skinny kids who get sand kicked in their face are the only ones at risk of using steroids, think again. Rutstein points out that today, even young girls are doing steroids to get those six-pack abs and toned arms.
Getting the drug is easy—too easy. It can be purchased in many gyms, chat rooms and websites. The big problem with steroids is they work—really well. Results are fast, but the message Rutstein is spreading is that it doesn’t last. But what does last is the health problems associated with taking steroids. Some are irreversible.
Here’s an alarming fact: between six and 11 percent of high school males and between two and five percent of high school females are currently using steroids. Why would kids today gamble with such a dangerous substance? According to Rutstein, there are two reasons: for an “athletic edge” and for a boost of self-esteem. Parents must know that for some kids, steroids are their ticket to being noticed and being new and improved.
Rutstein admits he took pains to keep his steroid use hidden from his own parents and he urges all parents not to turn a blind eye on this hidden epidemic. “Steroid abuse is such a huge and overlooked problem among our children.” he says. Here are some of his tell-tale signs of steroid use:
- A rapid increase in the musculature of your child
- Your child’s preoccupation or obsession with getting big
- An outbreak of acne (mostly on the chest and back) far and above the usual
- Pronounced mood swings
- The presence of muscle magazines
- The presence of pills, powders, ointments and liquids that advertise such things as promoting muscle development, human growth boosters, or testosterone enhancement
For more information steroid abuse, please visit www.stopsteroidabuse.com