77° Good Afternoon
77° Good Afternoon

Letter: Steroid use not big in high school

Lab equipment, packaging materials, steroids, a loaded Rock

Lab equipment, packaging materials, steroids, a loaded Rock Island .45-caliber handgun and $60,000 in cash were discovered in the searches of a Centereach apartment, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said in a statement. (July 30, 2013) Credit: Suffolk County DA

Newsday's recent cover story "Steroids on LI: Growing concern" [News, Aug. 18] suggests an apparent uptick in steroid use among 17- to 25-year-olds on Long Island.

The good news is that this is inconsistent with a trusted national survey of teenage drug use, Monitoring the Future, which surveys teens in eighth, 10th and 12th grades.

It shows that teen use of anabolic steroids has fallen in recent years. Overall, only about 1.5 percent of teens now report ever using steroids. Cocaine, LSD, ecstasy and tranquilizers are all more prevalent in high school. There is nothing to suggest that Long Island's kids are a national anomaly, notwithstanding the anecdotal claims of politicians or ex-user activists.

None of this is to diminish the problem of teen drug abuse. The abuse of any drug, steroids included, is a serious societal problem, and drug abuse by adolescents is of particular concern. But narcotics, cigarettes and alcohol intoxication still represent far greater dangers to our children.

Rick Collins, Mineola

Editor's note: The writer is a lawyer concentrating in the area of performance-enhancing-drug cases, including athletes accused of doping.