Barbara Quick may be well-meaning but steroid scare tactics do more harm than good.
Barbara Quick is convinced anabolic steroids killed her husband Steven. And Quick wants to give her husband’s life meaning and purpose by convincing other people that steroids can kill them too.
It may seem insensitive to disagree with a grieving widow. Just because it is easier to single out steroids as the culprit does not make it true. And demonizing anabolic steroids is not the most effective way of reducing harm.
Anabolic steroids have been researched for over 50 years. The side effects are well-established, generally manageable and usually reversible. They are relatively safe as far as pharmaceutical drugs are concerned.
This does not mean anabolic steroids are free of adverse side effects including some that may be serious especially in cases of long-term use and/or abuse. In addition, some people with genetic predispositions, health or lifestyle risk factors, and/or mental health problems should never experiment with steroids in the first place.
Scare tactics and anti-steroid “education” rarely deter people from using steroids much less reduce any steroid-related harm.
Quick has launched a fundraising campaign called “Annabolic [sic] Steroid Use Kills” to raise money to promote awareness of the dangers of anabolic steroids. Quick plans on using the funds to print pamphlets and posters and to engage in discussions with student-athletes and gym-goers.
“SAY NO TO ANNABOLIC [sic] STEROIDS. Do no like peoples status when you know they are on it. The reason they are on it is because they thrive on attention.”
Quick also organized a “Saturday Night Laughs” stand-up comedy event featuring comedians Ryan DeNisco and Andy McDermott as headliners on October 6, 2018. The event raised money to pay the Taylor Hooton Foundation to visit the local Saugerties High School to share the story of how steroids killed Taylor Hooton in 2003.
Saugerties Police Chief Joseph Sinagra took the opportunity to speak at the event in order to conflate hard drugs like cocaine and heroin with anabolic steroids. Contrary to all evidence, Chief Sinagra claimed that steroids are “just as addicting” and “just as fatal” as steroids.
“Steroids … do not produce a euphoric high, which makes [them] distinct from other drugs such as cocaine, heroin and marijuana,” Sinagra said. “However, steroid users may and often do develop a substance use disorder just as addicting and in some cases just as fatal as these other drugs.”
Quick said her husband died of massive cardiac arrest on March 5, 2018. Steven had an enlarged heart that was three times larger than it should have been.
Quick noted that her husband started using anabolic steroids after he suffered a “mid life crisis” in November 2015. He was also clinically diagnosed with “delusional paranoia, insecurity and anxiety” by a mental health professional.
Steven started working out to cope with his anxiety and improve his body image dissatisfaction. He was “overdosing on supplements” that he purchased over-the-counter. And he eventually started using steroids supplied to him by a family member.
Quick felts powerless to stop her husband as his mental health deteriorated. Steven refused to stop using steroids and performance-enhancing dietary supplements over the objections of his wife. And the family member kept supplying Steven with more and more steroids.
Steven Quick’s death at the age of 49 years old is undoubtedly tragic. Of course, we want to prevent early and premature deaths whenever possible. But singling out steroids as the cause of death is not the answer. The prohibition of steroids is not the answer. The demonization of steroids is not the answer.
If harm reduction is the goal, there should be real education. It should not be the “anti-steroid” bullshit that is passed off as “education”. It should be a real, evidence-based education concerning the documented side effects of anabolic steroids.