Reported HGH Use Up Among Teens: What Are the Risks?

New survey finds a spike in the number of teens who say they have used performance-enhancing drugs.
2:04 | 07/23/14

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Transcript for Reported HGH Use Up Among Teens: What Are the Risks?
warning for American families about a new study finding a spike in the number of teens who say they have tried performance enhancing drugs, specifically hgh, human growth hormone. That drug links to proathletes, Alex Rodriguez, lance Armstrong. But what are the risks to boys and girls hoping to get stronger fast and look better? ABC's Paula Faris shows us. Reporter: Tonight, hi school students aren't just trying to get an edge on the field. They're trying to look good, too. Over 1 in 10 high school students, more than double from last year, admitting to trying humanhormone, or supplements that claim to boost their hgh level, according to a new survey. Disturbing? Exactly. Very disturbing and very dangerous frankly. Reporter: Hgh is only available by prescription. It's intended use is to promote growth. But it can also be used to improve muscle mass, performance and appearance. And there are many over the counter supplements alleging to do just that. Usually, but not always, with the warning "18 years and older." And the internet is full of testimonials claiming to be before and after result from using hgh. What many teens don't know is there can be harmful side effects. High levels of hgh can affect one's muscle and bone development, lead to early onset diabetes and even increase the risk of cancer. These are things like diabetes, sugar control problems. High blood pressure, cardiac problems. Bone growth problems. Reporter: These teens don't really understand the true ramifications? They really don't understand the ramifications and they believe because it's a legal product, it's safe. Reporter: Again, parents need to be aware after vigilant. If you see a sudden acceleration in your child's progress or they're just a little out of sorts, well, that could be a warning sign. But take it as an opportunity to have a conversation with your child. Keep those lines of communication open. Again, boys and girls in this survey, Diane. This is a big increase. Thank you so much, Paula Faris.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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