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Show Me The Bodies
2008-06-12 20:36
by Will Carroll

I have some questions for George Mitchell and MLB:

1. Sen. Mitchell: Show me the bodies. Show me more than a handful of troubled youth that have their deaths connected to steroids. All three you saw in your hearings involved suicide and I'm sorry, but some young men and women kill themselves over far less. One is too many and I'm not dismissing the death of any of these kids. I looked in the eyes of one of the mothers at a conference and saw the pain.

2. MLB: Why has the Taylor Hooton Foundation carried out one* of their "Hoot's Chalk Talks" after several million dollars in donations? Why have your donations not been accounted for? Why has there been no educational effort beyond this and your ineffective television ads?

Donating money doesn't get results and saying that "thousands" or "millions" of kids are affected by steroids is innumerate at best and a lie at worst. The Mitchell Report was a waste of time, money, and effort. It was a slight of hand that Mitchell's posturing is only turning into more of a farce.

*UPDATE: I should clarify this. Only one of the centerpiece presentations of the THF has been done at a Major League Park or in association with an MLB team. There is a long schedule of these for 2008, so there's progress.

2008-06-13 10:31:41
1.   jgpyke
Do you intend to sound pro-steroids, b/c that's what you sound like. Or are you just calling out a political type for--gasp--posturing?

saying that "thousands" or "millions" of kids are affected by steroids is innumerate at best and a lie at worst

There are c. 16.3M kids in grades 9-12 right now. I agree that "millions" is a ludicrous figure, but don't you think tens of thousands or maybe hundreds of thousands are using steroids illegally? When I was in high school in the 80s, there were kids doing them then. Plenty. Easy to find. Don't you think that's still the case, if not worse?

2008-06-13 10:39:14
2.   Will Carroll
No, I don't find it to be the case. If we take the worst case scenario we're looking at ten percent of professional athletes. Halve that and you have the worst case for kids. That's bad. Your number seems high -- 16.3m in a 4 year range? I guess not. I would venture to say that we have pockets where the numbers go up due to the "Romanowski Effect", but overall, very, very few.

Here's a trick I use in presentations -- you're a smart guy/girl. Here's $100. Go find steroids in the next 24 hours. How many of you would even know where to start?

2008-06-13 11:09:28
3.   jgpyke
Studies show somewhere between 1.6% and 4% of kids in grades 8-12 using steroids in the past month. Even at that low figure, that would be 260K HS kids using. And there would certainly be younger users, too, which would bring the figure up. (BTW, I got the 16.3M figure from the US Statistical Abstract...and that doesn't include the millions of homeschooled kids.)

The $100 trick you use is indeed a trick: it is mildly ludicrous and there is probably a type of fallacy named after it. You can name lots of things in such a way that many people wouldn't know where to look, but that doesn't mean they don't exist! ("Go find LSD" or "cheese made from raw milk" or "marlin jerky".) Besides, you don't think an Internet search could find someone steroids to buy?

Me? I'd find a high school kid and give him the money. I guarn-frickin'-tee you that would get results (esp. if I told him he could keep $90 of it and just bring me back $10 worth).

2008-06-13 12:37:12
4.   Will Carroll
Go ahead, try it. See if you can find a credible place on the net to buy from that won't send you 2% solution or fwd your name to the Feds. You willing to take that risk?

I don't buy those numbers AT ALL. In talks I've given, I've never found one student who could identify steroids, but have seen hundreds who think steroids are at GNC.

2008-06-13 20:08:58
5.   jgpyke
I don't understand your basis for your assertions. You reject published, peer-reviewed studies b/c of your own "empirical" evidence from speaking to a few handfuls of kids firsthand?

I had a lot of friends in high school who did dianabol. One friend even sold them.

You don't even believe the 1.6% figure? How is that so hard to believe? I had 1400 people in my high school, and that works out to 22 people taking steroids. That isn't hard to believe at all. I could call up a buddy now and he could probably name that many off the top of his head. The JV and varsity football teams alone...

So what percentage would you guess, then?

"You want a toe? I can get you a toe. Believe me. There are ways. You don't want to know, Dude. I can get you a toe by 3 o'clock. With nail polish."

If you know the right kids or hang with the right crowds, you can get anything. I could have done so 20 years ago, with ease. I have no reason to believe the black market has shrunk in the meantime. It is ridiculous on its face.

2008-06-13 20:18:32
6.   jgpyke
BTW, you dodged the fact that your bet is fallacious. If I can't find an automatic machine gun in 24 hours, I guess that means they don't exist? Maybe the dolts you lecture fall for that kind of reasoning, but that carny magician xit don't fly here.
2008-06-14 06:57:14
7.   Will Carroll
I didn't dodge anything - the offer stands. And Don's Guns is on the east side. And no, I do not believe the 1.6%. MOF, I was able find where it comes from -- it's from Linn Goldberg at OHSU, who's been fighting for funding of his ATLAS/ATHENA program. Now I believe it less.
2008-06-14 07:17:04
8.   jgpyke
The NIDA-funded 2007 Monitoring the Future Study showed that 0.8% of 8th graders, 1.1% of 10th graders, and 1.4% of 12th graders had abused anabolic steroids at least once in the year prior to being surveyed. Source: Monitoring the Future

What is your basis for refuting this or any other study, and give us a detailed analysis of why the research methodologies are faulty, etc. Until then, you all full of xit.

And if you're not full of xit, then how about calling these guys out in their arena, not yours?

2008-06-14 07:38:32
9.   jgpyke
And Linn Goldberg has nothing to do with the 1.6% study...again proving your lack of credentials and the fact that you are full of xit...

Nutritional Supplementation and Anabolic Steroid Use in Adolescents
Medicine and science in sports and exercise.
January 2008, 40:1. The American College of Sports Medicine.

2008-06-14 07:39:34
10.   jgpyke
Seriously, bro, just stop. You're embarrassing yourself. You are completely out of your depth.
2008-06-14 07:55:15
11.   chris in illinois
I think the point of Will's 'bet' is that the horror of teenage steroid abuse is overblown. They exist certainly, but just because someone decides that they want to use them, it doesn't mean that within 24 hours they'll be juicing. Why is that so hard to understand??

Marlin jerky is awesome if extremely rare.

FWIW, my HS had ~1000 students and to the best of my knowledge no steroid use. I played baseball and had many friends on the football team and they'll tell you that they didn't know anyone who used (of course we were 3-8 or something). Additionally, items like LSD, shrooms and hash were all pretty easy to come by. Of course I'm getting kind of old and maybe HS was too long ago.

2008-06-14 08:15:29
12.   jgpyke
Chris, if that's what the bet means, then I get it. But it sounded like, "Because you can't find item X, then X doesn't exist." ...which is like seven fallacies rolled into one...

I agree that the issue is overblown, but 1.6% is hardly a number to start St. Vitus dancing over, in wild gesticulations and baseless accusations...

2008-06-14 09:03:34
13.   Will Carroll
Pyke, I'm not the one screaming and flailing. My assertions stand, your assholishness does as well.
2008-06-14 09:07:45
14.   Sandus
This might be the only time I've ever disagreed with Will.

Steroids are just as easily available as marijuana (though in less demand), and high school kids can find marijuana pretty readily.

I know 4 people off the top of my head that are current or former juicers. For $100, I could have Winstrol at your front door in 10 minutes.

2008-06-14 09:24:16
15.   jgpyke
C'mon, Carroll. Where's the proof? Show it. You have none. Where are your peer reviewed studies? Point out the flaws in the methodology.

Seriously, man, it's bullxit like this that make Buzz sound like a genius.

Show the proof. Until then, just show some sack by admitting you're wrong. I can't believe you're sticking with your story.

2008-06-14 11:44:38
16.   Scott Long
Follow the money trail has always been the best method to know what is going on in the drug world. The cost of steroids is so high and the method of using more complicated than other much more popular drugs like pot or booze that it is hard to imagine that the figures being thrown out for high school steroid use could be true.

Here is my hypothesis for most users high school and younger. They are white suburban kids with a lot of discretionary income. I would also guess that many of this kids have a parent or coach who is knowing of their usage because they are trying to achieve in sports. To have success with steroids, you have to kind of know what you are doing. To get drunk or stoned, not so much.

The Hooton method crusade looks to be another program doomed to failure like the Just Say No campaign or the Abstinence pledges that have shown to be massive wastes of funding. Reefer madness campaigns are never the solution.

2008-06-14 17:47:38
17.   Will Carroll
BPR this week ... Harrison Pope of Harvard, author of some of the definitive studies on youth steroid use.

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