DALLAS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/CBS News) – There’s a disturbing uptick in the number of teens using human growth hormones a new study says.
The report says use of the performance-enhancing substance among teens more than doubled between 2012 and 2013.
According to the report, released today by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, 11 percent of teens in grades 9 through 12 reported in 2013 that they had used synthetic human growth hormones without a prescription at least once in their lives, compared with 5 percent of teens in 2012.
The report also found that African-American and Hispanic teens were the most likely to report having used synthetic hGH. Fifteen percent of African-American teens, 13 percent of Hispanic teens and 9 percent of Caucasian teens admitted that they used synthetic hGH at least once.
Don Hooten has been focused on the topic for years ever since his son Taylor committed suicide in 2003 – that he links to steroid use.
“These numbers [of kids using growth hormones] have reached epidemic proportions” says Hooten.
Hooten says the situation is worse in Texas…despite what he says is the perception performance enhancing drugs are not a problem because he says a poorly implemented program to test school athletes turned up so few positives.
Experts say use was more common in boys than in girls where researchers found 12 percent of boys and 9 percent of girls reported having used synthetic hGH and steroids without prescription.
“These new data point to a troubling development among today’s teens,” Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, said in a statement. “Young people are seeking out and using performance-enhancing substances like synthetic hGH – and supplements purporting to contain hGH – hoping to improve athletic performance or body appearance without really knowing what substances they are putting into their bodies.”
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