(HealthDay)—Many male youths are using appearance and performance enhancing drugs (APEDs), which include anabolic steroids and human growth hormone, and are finding them easily accessible online, according to a report published by the Digital Citizens Alliance.
A Zogby Analytics poll examined the use of anabolic steroids among male youth and the ease of ordering APEDs online.
According to the poll, more than 8 percent of 18- to 25-year-old males reported using anabolic steroids, and 28 percent reported knowing someone who had taken APEDs. One in five parents reported being concerned their child may take APEDs. Thirty-six and 55 percent of males, respectively, said that using APEDs was potentially life threatening and potentially harmful to overall health, while less than 7 percent felt it was not dangerous. However, one in five males interviewed reported that APED use was the only way to make it in professional sports, and 77 percent reported that APED use in professional sports puts pressure on young athletes. APEDs are accessible via the Internet, with a Google search for "buy steroids online" resulting in over eight million results. Furthermore, drugs purchased without prescriptions online are not necessarily real and often contain contaminants.
"We applaud the crackdown on the dark web's worst operators, but many of those same operators do the same things on the open web that our children use every day," Tom Galvin, the executive director of the Digital Citizens Alliance, said in a statement.