The use of anabolic steroids in high school students

Am J Dis Child. 1990 Jan;144(1):99-103. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.1990.02150250111046.


The use of anabolic steroids by athletes has been a frequent topic in many recent reports. While much has been written in the lay literature, there is little in the scientific literature documenting the actual use of steroids, particularly in adolescents. We describe the results of a survey of 2113 high school students. The survey was designed to elicit information about students' general knowledge about anabolic steroids, awareness of the risks and side effects, and the incidence of use of anabolic steroids. Ninety-four (4.4%) of 2113 students admitted using anabolic steroids. Broken down by sex, 67 (6.5%) of 1028 males and 27 (2.5%) of 1085 females were users of steroids. Athletes had a higher use of steroids (79 [5.5%] of 1436 subjects) than nonathletes (15 [2.4%] of 636 subjects). These data suggest that we have another serious, as yet unappreciated drug problem in our adolescents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anabolic Agents*
  • Doping in Sports*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Illinois
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Anabolic Agents