Appearance and performance enhancing drugs (APEDs) include a wide range of substances from an array of medical disciplines and associated fields, and have been associated with potentially serious physical and psychiatric side effects.

While these substances have a long history in sport and competition, studies have found millions of teenagers are also turning to APEDs with the idea that they will improve their physical appearance as well as athletic performance.

The Taylor Hooton Foundation provides children and the adults in their lives with context for the social influences that impact them each day. Here are 10 points of conversation about APEDs that every parent should have with their children:

  1. Youth steroid use is a growing problem.
    The headlines tell of professional players alleged, or proven, to have used steroids, but steroid abuse by children is at the root of concern. The pressures kids are under help to motivate use and abuse of PEDs.
  2. Numbers can help put the issue in perspective.
    Numbers make an impact, and The Taylor Hooton Foundation has created a video that provides insight on the scope of the steroid, human growth hormone and supplement problem.
  3. Anabolic steroids do physical AND psychological damage.
    It has been proven that the dangers of anabolic steroids are both physical and psychological. Research has shown that the damage caused by APEDs is irreversible.
  4. Over-the-counter diet pills and supplements have their risks, too. 
    There are a variety of dietary and muscle-building items available over the counter at your local nutrition store, but you need to know that there are hidden dangers in diet pills and supplements.
  5. PEDs have their own language.
    You may not have heard some of the vocabulary associated with using APEDs, but this glossary identifies some of the common words and terms involving these supplements.
  6. Some of the most common questions about these substances have already been answered.
    Whether you’re looking for quick answers or searching for reliable information, the Taylor Hooton Foundation’s list of Frequently Asked Questions is a good place to start.
  7. The warning signs for APED use fit into a few basic categories.
    If you suspect your child, students, or friends are using anabolic steroids, you can look for a variety of short-term side effects that appear as symptoms – like visible changes in appearance, mood and behavior.
  8. The conversations have to start with kids.
    It’s never easy trying to make an impactful point when talking to young people, so knowing how to talk to children about steroids can make the starting the conversation easier.
  9. Making a lasting impression can save a life
    The Taylor Hooton Foundation website features several accounts of how education has created a firm and accurate understanding of the inherent dangers of APED use. Knowledge is powerful, and you may never know what impact you can have.
  10. The Taylor Hooton Foundation can help.
    With an assortment of educational resources that can be used to raise awareness and provide perspective regarding the use and appearance of performance enhancing drugs, The Taylor Hooton Foundation is an asset in ensuring the health of the next generation.

Little League® Baseball and Softball has partnered with the Taylor Hooton Foundation, a non-profit organization leading a national campaign to educate youth and their adult influencers about the dangers of Appearance and Performance Enhancing Drugs (APED) including anabolic steroids, HGH, and unregulated dietary supplements.