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Steroids: Could Your Child Be Next?

"Players that are guilty of taking steroids are not only cheaters, you are cowards. ...Show our kids that you're man enough to face authority, tell the truth and face the consequences.” — Donald Hooton of Plano, Texas, who testified before Congress that his son, Taylor, a high school baseball player, committed suicide in 2003 after steroid use.

Does your child use steroids?

Of course not.

That's what concerned parents want to believe.

Yet scores of young people ar...

steroid abuse, steroids, steroids in teenagers, what is steroid abuse, athletes using steroids, body

"Players that are guilty of taking steroids are not only cheaters, you are cowards. ...Show our kids that you're man enough to face authority, tell the truth and face the consequences.” — Donald Hooton of Plano, Texas, who testified before Congress that his son, Taylor, a high school baseball player, committed suicide in 2003 after steroid use.

Does your child use steroids?

Of course not.

That's what concerned parents want to believe.

Yet scores of young people are consuming a toxic stew, drugs they believe will enhance physical strength, performance and stamina, and build confidence.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows steroid use among male high school students rose 65 percent from 3.7 to 6.1 percent between 1999 and 2003; among female students it jumped from 2.2 to 5.3 percent, or a whopping 140 percent.

Many of these young people have as their unfortunate role models certain high-profile athletes who have been implicated in steroid use.

So, parents, be wary. Steroids are stealthy predators. Watch for warning signs: rapidly bulked-up muscles, preoccupation with “getting big,” unusual acne, major mood swings, muscle magazines, pills or powders promising muscle development, and vials and syringes.

If you suspect a problem, get between the drugs and your child, impressing upon him or her the fact that what they're doing is illegal and very dangerous.

You may be what saves your child from devastating health problems or from death.

What Are They:

So-called anabolic-androgenic steroids are man-made substances related to male sex hormones.

“Anabolic” refers to muscle-building, and “androgenic” refers to increased masculine characteristics, as defined by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

“Steroids” refers to the class of drugs, often legally prescribed for people with wasting diseases such as AIDS.

But illegal use, which can add body size, is just as likely to destroy or impair the liver, heart and kidneys, emotional stability and normal sexual development of kids.

I know all this because I abused steroids for three and a half years in the mid - 80's -- and they almost killed me. They also ruined relationships and hurt my parents, parents who had raised me lovingly.

As a user, I learned to lie to my father and steal from my mother's purse.

I had no conscience.

I had good reasons for steroid use -- or so I thought.

Steroids primarily appeal to young people who are looking for an athletic edge or those who want a quick fix to a better body. All want to “supersize” themselves, to create a new and improved version. I had suffered in school due to my short stature and a stutter, both of which attracted bullies and teasing. Steroids looked like the perfect remedy. My heroes, after all, included The Incredible Hulk and a giant of a man named Arnold Schwarzenegger -- who eventually admitted to using steroids.

Finally Broken:

Eventually steroid use broke me, literally. My body and mind were in shambles. A long, long road back included physical and mental evaluations, addiction support group meetings, and exercise -- workouts not meant to “bulk up” but to help my battered body and mind reacquaint themselves.
I am now the father of two boys.

My life has been resurrected from the disaster known as steroids. That is why I am here to caution other parents: It doesn't just happen to someone else's kids.

When young people look at the hard, muscles bodies presented by smiling, oversized human beings, they see a tempting portrait.

Potential users are seduced by this fake picture of health and vitality and virility. The picture doesn't show the strain on the arteries, the wear and tear on the heart and the psyche.

It doesn't show the caskets.

 

Playmobil And Childhood Stories

Why medieval castles seemed so familiar in the history class for me and most of my classmates? Why some of us have a déjà vu when we watch films like the "Pirates of the Caribbean"? We have spent so much time assembling the Playmobil version of the castle, or making stories about pirates, knights, sheriffs and Native Americans as children and playing with the Playmobil spaceship, that sometimes we think that we actually have lived in all those places. For everyone who was a c...

Toys, Playmobil, toy manufacturer

Why medieval castles seemed so familiar in the history class for me and most of my classmates? Why some of us have a déjà vu when we watch films like the "Pirates of the Caribbean"? We have spent so much time assembling the Playmobil version of the castle, or making stories about pirates, knights, sheriffs and Native Americans as children and playing with the Playmobil spaceship, that sometimes we think that we actually have lived in all those places. For everyone who was a child in the 1980s and later Playmobil is not just the name of a toy, it is a legend.

This legendary story of "Playmobil" started in the 1971, when Horst Brandstätter the owner of toy manufacturer "geobra Brandstätter", asked the -so called- "father of Playmobil", Hans Beck, then a cabinetmaker to develop figures for children. Beck spent three years developing what became Playmobil. His aim was to create a simple and flexible toy and as it turns out he could not be more successful. Playmobil, a 7.5 cm toy, with hands, which are capable of gripping and holding objects and a facial design based on children's drawings (big smile, no nose), was first presented at the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg in 1974. The first figures were of Native Americans, construction workers and knights, while the 1973 oil crisis made it possible for Playmobil to be considered a viable product. Rising oil prices made plastics extremely expensive and larger plastic toys virtually unaffordable. Playmobil began to be sold worldwide in 1975 and had an unprecedented success.

Only a few years after the first introduction of the product, "geobra Brandstätter" became the German toy manufacturer with the highest turnover. In 2004 when Playmobil celebrated its 30th Anniversary, 1.8 billion figures had been produced. And these little figures have been almost everywhere: in movies, video games, fast food restaurants. Today, there are seven Playmobil fun parks worldwide three of them in the United States (Orlando, Florida -Palm Beach Gardens, Florida - Woodbridge, New Jersey) and four in Europe: in Paris, Athens, Malta and in Zirndorf, Germany where the manufacturer's headquarters are located.

"Playmobil is a toy that doesn't impose specific play patterns on children, but rather stimulates their imagination," said once Hans Beck. And he is right. Some months ago when I visited a friendly couple, I found out that children still play with Playmobil, creating their own scenarios and stories. The memory of the Playmobil pirate ship, that I got as a present for my 6th birthday brought tears in my eyes. As a representative of my generation I owe a big thanks to Hans Beck, for all the dreams that he helped me to create, all the stories, most importantly, all those little friends, who may be now kept in some attic, but they often come to my mind and make me smile.

 

San Francisco is not just Child's Play

Visiting San Francisco, California is great to do with a family; it is even better to do as an adult without children along. Frisco has a thriving nightlife and plenty of entertainment that simply isn't meant for children. From the slightly off color to the seriously bawdy, San Francisco nightlife has entertainment of almost every flavor. Of course there is still plenty to do during the daylight hours too.

If you're looking for a taste of nightlife that is 'belly busting' funny, there's Comedy on the Square that offers comedic variety shows. You can also check out Lila Theatre for some of the best long-form improvisation. If you need a good laugh these are great places to start. 50 Mason Lounge is also a great place to go to get in on the laughs. The problem with San Francisco is that there are so many great comedy clubs they can't all be listed in one place. My suggestion is that you ask around for suggestions and find out who's playing. You never know when someone you recognize might be popping in for the evening.

In addition to the great comedy clubs there is the general 'gentleman's' nightlife alive and well in this fair city. I would be remiss if I failed to mention some of the more unique adult entertainment that San Francisco has to offer. In addition to the typical gentlemen's clubs such as Broadway Showgirls Cabaret, which boasts more luxurious surroundings than other clubs, there is Crazy Horse, Inc., which has totally nude live shows, The Gold Club, and Larry Flynt's Hustler Club. There is one club that goes above and beyond what any of these clubs offer though and is worth checking out with a date if you and your partner are so inclined. This club is called Power Exchange and while there are a few places like this around the country, they are extremely rare. If you aren't easily offended and are the least bit curious, I would recommend checking it out.

San Francisco is swimming with active and awesome nightclubs and as such it is quite difficult to single one out as superior to any other. I recommend finding a nightclub that is within walking distance of your hotel. This diminishes the odds of your driving while intoxicated. As always it is important to enjoy responsibly.

If you want to make the most out of your trip to San Francisco, be sure to remember that while there is plenty to do at night, you want to be awake and aware for at least part of the day so don't have too much fun at night. If you are very brave and adventurous and looking for more adult only entertainment you can try one of the nude beaches in the area. While these beaches are not for everyone and they aren't exactly nighttime activities, they do offer some adult only entertainment that is worth considering if it floats your boat.

You can also rent sailboat and powerboat cruises in the bay, if you are with a loved one, try one of the sunset cruises. These cruises are romantic time away from the crowds of the city. Even if these times aren't exclusively for adults, if you close your eyes and imagine, you can whittle the world down to just the two of you.

Whatever your pleasure in this great city, I hope you have found some ideas for great fun and entertainment that will get your trip off to a great start. Remember to have fun and enjoy the time you spend visiting San Francisco, California whether that time be day or night. If none of the things I've mentioned above have struck your fancy there are always more cultural undertakings such as museums, guided tours, or trips to Alcatraz. Just remember the purpose of a vacation is fun, if you aren't having fun where you are, go somewhere else!




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