Columbia, SC (WACH) - Spring Valley High School??s Robin Bacon has been coaching sports for more than 20 years.
Educating his athletes on nutrition has been one of his primary goals, but it doesn??t stop him from keeping an eye on kids using alternatives to stay on top of their game.
??Peer pressure with today??s kids will have them seek out things like this,?? said Bacon.
Out of 3,705 teenagers surveyed recently, 11% indicated using a synthetic human growth hormone at least once, according to the Partnership for drug-free kids.
That??s a five point increase from prior surveys.
Seven percent of teenagers also admitted to using steroids, a two point bump in the last ten years.
??I think there??s issues of what??s the quick fix,?? added Bacon.
Experts say with technology improving, teenagers are buying synthetic HGH online and they believe the drug is safe.
??The two biggest components and reason they??re doing that is to improve their athletic ability performance and to also approve their appearance essentially,?? said Ashley Bodiford with LRADAC.
She adds that the fake performance enhancement drug can be very dangerous and can alter the brain.
??The last piece of your brain to develop is your pre-frontal cortex and that??s what helps you make decisions,?? said Bodiford. ??If that??s impaired by substances or forms of drugs you shouldn??t be taking, the ability to make good to make good and proper and informed decisions will be effected later in life.??
Bodiford tells WACH Fox that while the Palmetto State falls right in line with the national numbers, parents who educate their children on the drug and its effects now could be a major factor that deters them from using in the future.
The Partnership for drug free kids surveyed parents as well. More than half of the parents surveyed reported having discussed the use of steroids or other performance enhancing substances with their teens. Only three percent of parents surveyed believed their teen had ever used steroids or other performance enhancing substances.
??Whether it be drugs, whether it be sex education, whether it be steroids the most important thing for a parent is to seek that out,?? added Coach Bacon. ??I think there are some great resources for parents out there.??
The survey of 3,705 students in grades 9-12 was conducted at their schools between February and June of 2013.
The margin of error was calculated at plus or minus 2.1 percentage points.
To find the complete survey, click here.