During Tuesday's assembly, Middlesex students and faculty heard from Brian Parker of the Taylor Hooton Foundation about the dangers of appearance and performance enhancing drugs. The Taylor Hooton Foundation was started by the Hooton family in memory of young Taylor Hooton, who tragically took his own life in the wake of anabolic steroid use. Parker set out to educate the community about supplements and steroids: lack of industry regulation means one can never be sure of the safety of drugs on the market; there are hidden, potentially dangerous, and addictive substances often added to supplements and energy drinks; and there are devastating side effects both physically and mentally of misuse and overuse. Parker recited some shocking statistics*:
- the median age for first-time steriod users is 15 years old
- up to 25% of supplements are spiked, often with steroids or stimulants
- the average age for youth supplement use is 10.8 years old
- teenage girls are the fastest-growing group of new users
- 1 in 16 high school students use anabolic steroids
Students and faculty left Parker's presentation with much to consider about common supplements, energy drinks, and steroid abuse.
*statistics available at the Taylor Hooton website