Rick Collins’ Advice to Teenagers (excerpted from)
The way I see it, most everything has risks and benefits. That’s especially true of medications, such as anabolic steroids. The choice of whether or not to take steroids involves weighing the risks against the benefits. The risk include numerous possible side effects, including the possibility of never growing to the height you should have been. Have the risks been exaggerated in healthy adult males? Absolutely. Lots of people have taken steroids and seem fine, even many years later. But a few have gotten very sick. At your age, you’re a boiling pot of raging hormones. The effect of adding extra hormones on top of it all has the potential to be like throwing some gasoline onto a fire. Or maybe a health problem you may not be aware of, like a small undiscovered cluster of cancer cells, could be stimulated. We really don’t know all of the long-term effects.
Further, there’s another risk that nobody talks about much. Not in the future, but here and now. That’s the legal risk of having your ass busted. In many states, simple possession is a felony. I know – I’ve represented a slew of personal users who got jammed up. You’ll be handcuffed and questioned. You’ll spend a night in jail, maybe with an overly friendly guy name Bubba. You’ll probably wind up needing to call your parents to bail you out, and then needing to hire a lawyer and go to court and see a judge, maybe a bunch of times. Your parents will foot the bill, and they’ll never let you forget it for the rest of your life. If you’re in a small town, the local papers may print your name, which happened to three teen juicers in Utah recently. You probably won’t go to jail in the end. But if you’re convicted of even a misdemeanor drug offense, you can lose some very important privileges including the license to drive your car and qualifying for college financial aid. Your folks will really love you for that.
Word will probably get around about your arrest. Your teachers will see you differently, as will your neighbors. The girls at school won’t think you’re cool. They’ll see you as a cheater. In fact, they’ll attribute any muscle you have purely to the steroids. They’ll disregard any hard work you may have put in at the gym. In their eyes, you’ll be a lazy kid who cheated with some chemicals that made him bigger, and they will probably be right. You didn’t pay your dues.
You’re technically an adult and can make up your own mind, but are the benefits really worth it? The way I see it, to really get the benefits you’re going to need to take more steroids than an older guy. Why? Because your own natural testosterone levels are really high right now, as suggested by your acne. Once you take in testosterone from outside, your own natural production shuts off. It can go to zero pretty fast. You’ll need a lot of juice just to get you up to where you were to begin with. An older guy, whose levels have gone down over the years, might double his natural levels by taking half of what you’d need just to break even. Studies have shown that testosterone levels of teenaged boys jump to as high as 2,000 nanograms per deciliter of blood – about two to four times of your typical adult. How can you justify not taking advantage of the highest natural testosterone levels you’ll ever have in your life? How can you justify just shutting them down? The kids who start juicing without having built any natural foundation get big fast and then get small again just as fast as soon as the cycle ends, like a yo-yo.
If you are 200 pounds and 30 years old, I’d agree your potential for further gains after years of training might be pretty much expended. If you wanted to keep improving, I might sympathize with your dilemma. But that’s not you. You haven’t even scratched the surface of your natural potential. Look at you. If you need steroids to break the 160-pound barrier, take up tennis. You could easily gain twenty pounds without touching anything that might get you busted. I’ll bet your training sucks, your diet sucks, and you haven’t even begun to pay the necessary dues of hard work. You want fast, dramatic results? At your age, this is probably the only time in your life that you’ll be able to get them without juice. Milk it for all it’s worth. Revamp your training, start eating right, and stop asking people about steroids at nineteen years old.
Rick Collins, Legal Muscle. Excerpted with permission.