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CNN Student News Learning Activity: Steroid Use in Sports

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  • Students will examine the risks associated with using steroids and HGH to improve athletic performance
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(CNN Student News) -- Students will learn about the risks associated with taking anabolic steroids and human growth hormone to improve athletic performance.


Ask students: What are performance-enhancing drugs? Do you think that American culture encourages performance-enhancing supplement and drug use among athletes? Explain. Following the discussion, have students work in groups to learn more about anabolic steroids and human growth hormone (HGH). Pose the following questions to guide students' research:

  1. How can anabolic steroids and HGH enhance an athlete's performance?
  2. What are the potential hazards of using these substances for those who take them?
  3. Why do you think that some athletes might take these substances in light of the risks involved?
  4. What do you think that it would take to ensure that no athletes use performance-enhancing substances?

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After each group shares its findings, have students combine and edit their information into a brochure on the dangers of anabolic steroid and HGH use, and offer the brochure to your school's coaches as a reference for their athletes.

Correlated Standards

Standards and Benchmarks for K-12 Education Health

Standard 9: Understands aspects of substance use and abuse

Level III (Grade 6-8)

3. Knows the short- and long-term consequences of the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs (e.g., physical consequences such as shortness of breath, cirrhosis, lung cancer, emphysema; psychological consequences such as low self-esteem, paranoia, depression, apathy; social consequences such as crime, domestic violence, loss of friends)

4. Knows public policy approaches to substance abuse control and prevention (e.g., pricing and taxation, warning labels, regulation of advertising, restriction of alcohol consumption at sporting events)

Level IV (Grade 9-12)

2. Knows how the abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs often plays a role in dangerous behavior and can have adverse consequences on the community (e.g., house fires, motor vehicle crashes, domestic violence, date rape, transmission of diseases through needle sharing or sexual activity)

3. Understands that alcohol, tobacco, and other drug dependencies are treatable diseases/conditions

Content Knowledge: A Compendium of Standards and Benchmarks for K-12 Education (3rd ed.) by Kendall, J. S., & Marzano, R. J. (2000) is published online by Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) (


steroids, human growth hormone, performance-enhancing drugs E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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