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  Worry as bullied kids turn to drugs
Updated 09 February 2003, 19.26
Some boys hope taking steroids will stop them being bullied
Children as young as 11 are taking bodybuilding drugs to try to beat the bullies.

They take the drugs, called steroids, to try to make themselves bigger so they can't be pushed around so much at school.

Steroids are drugs which sports people sometimes take to build up their bodies and get bigger muscles quickly. But they can be dangerous and they're banned in most sports.

Worried parents

They can cause nasty side-effects like acne and hair loss, but also more serious problems like stopping you growing and damaging your liver.

Steroids can be tablets or they can be injected
Steroids can be tablets or they can be injected
But now school children are taking them too, said UK Sport - a sports agency which is funded by the government.

Staff at UK Sport have had lots of calls from worried parents, who said they've found their children with steroids, or that their child wants to take them.

Better body

The reasons children give for taking them are:

  • To stop bullies
  • To get a better body
  • To get onto a school team

Only about one per cent of boys aged between 11 and 15 years old admitted to taking steroids in a government survey, but there are fears that that's on the rise.

For more details or help dealing with bullies, click on the ChildLine website to the right of this page.

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