More Middle-Age Men Turn to Testosterone for an 'Edge'


But his department is far from alone. ABC News found police departments nationwide, Phoenix to Portland, have begun a new series of drug tests, no longer just for marijuana and cocaine, but for testosterone and other performance-enhancing drugs.

Testosterone is a naturally occurring hormone that diminishes with age. Even though some need a boost as they get older, a 2010 study in the New England Journal of Medicine warned that only about 2 percent of men older than 40 fell into that category.

"It's become a near epidemic proportions, what we're seeing in our clinics," said Dr. Edmund Sabanegh, the chairman of urology at the Cleveland Clinic. "Dating back into the '50s, there were fountains of youth and elixirs that were being advertised and I think it's potentially the same risk here."

Dr. Karron Power, M.D., M.P.H., said that testosterone was misunderstood.

Power is among doctors and experts who call it a life changer -- but only for men who need it. She said she'd had people who probably didn't need the hormone request it from her.

'Leveling the Playing Field'?

Experts said the problem with the hormone was that determining who needs testosterone and how much can be a very gray area. They say the normal man's testosterone range spans 1,000 points in blood tests.

Power and others bring patients up to the top end -- a level that some experts say can be too high for middle-age men.

"But if your levels are low and they bring you back to a normal level, or an optimal level, then aren't I just leveling the playing field?" Power said.

"I would say I look more ripped than I have since I was in college," Running said. "I mean, I like looking at myself in the mirror. I look freaking awesome.

"If I was marketing testosterone, I would be marketing in the Wall Street Journal, Business Week and Newsweek and Forbes," he said. "I'm completely sold. I mean I will never not do this."

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