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The Dark Side of Steroids

This article was originally published by Mancave Media in the January 2015 issue ~ Since The Taylor Hooton Foundation will be hosting an event at Yankee Stadium this summer, it’s being posted here.  For more about the organization and the event please visit their website and follow them on Twitter ~ Thank you 

Last year I happened to notice a tweet from The Taylor Hooton Foundation that contained an image of youngsters who were on a field with professional baseball players.  This image left an impression on me and it made me want to learn more about the organization. After visiting and reading the mission statement I found out it is working toward educating youth about the dangers of steroids.

The Taylor Hooton Foundation {THF) was formed in memory of Taylor E. Hooton, a 17-year old high school athlete from Plano, TX. Sadly, Taylor took his own life on July 15, 2003. Taylor’s death was attributed to residual affects caused by using anabolic steroids. It stands to reason that suicide can be brought on by several different variables and it is difficult to know for certain if one thing is to blame. In Taylor’s case it seems plausible that the damage brought on by using anabolic steroids was a link to him taking his life. Taylor’s parents, family and friends founded the organization to help educate others about the horrible effects of anabolic steroids. The organization has grown substantially since 2003.

It was an honor for me to meet Taylor’s family last year while they were in New York to host a charity event at Yankee Stadium. Both Donald Hooton, Sr. and Donald Hooton, Jr. [Taylor’s father and brother respectively] took some time to share with me about the success of their organization. To date, it has directly reached more than one million people.

When I sat down to speak with father and son again during a recent telephone interview, they spoke of their love for Taylor. They both expressed that they wished Taylor had been educated about the damaging effects of using anabolic steroids. It has become their core mission to educate other teens about the dark side of using anabolic steroids, HGH [Human Growth Hormone] unregulated dietary supplements, and other appearance and performance enhancing drugs [APEDs].

Armed with educational information, representatives of The THF enter schools and youth organizations to teach about the misinformation that is often communicated to youth. MLB, the National Football League [NFL] as well as, Smith Thompson Home Security, Home Team Insurance and the New York Yankees all sponsor the organization.

The darker side of steroid abuse and the misuse of energy drinks can lead to horrific havoc on a person’s body. The physical effects that can occur include stagnated bone growth, an enlarged heart, which can cause an increase of risk in heart attack, water, and salt retention which can cause a person to be prone to high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, and blood clotting disorders. There are other harmful side effects that include acne, balding, liver cysts, jaundice, and trembling. The list goes on.

The psychological effects include what is known as “Roid Rage” which can lead to increased aggressiveness, anger and hostility and possibly violence. In my opinion, “Roid Rage” is often overlooked as a possible link to several of the domestic violence cases we often hear about. Feelings of inadequacy, restlessness, and a score of other negative effects including mood swings, depression and suicidal thoughts are all on the list of psychological effects, that the organization has shared

So what can we do to help The THF educate youth about the dangers of these substances? This year the organization will host its first inaugural gala event at Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Addison, Texas. The honorary speaker for this event will be the author of the book, Shattered Image, Brian Cuban. Donald Hooton, Sr. and Donald Hooton, Jr. would like very much for you to attend to help support the organization. Information about this event can be found at their website. Together we can make a difference.


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Michelle has been a sports writer and analyst for many years. Now, as host of Neutral Court, sponsored by In The Zone, Michelle brings a new sports topic to the debate floor with each episode.
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