DALLAS -- According to a recent study, 36% of males under the age of 25 said they’ve used or know someone who has used steroids or human growth hormones. Some of the effects on the body include: aggressive behavior and severe mood swings.
“But the opposite side of mood swings like this are depression. As we learned the hard way, the depression that comes along with drug use like anabolic steroids can be serious enough to result in suicide, and that’s what the doctors tell us happened in our home,” explained Don Hooton.
Don’s son, Taylor, always had a love for baseball.
“He had been playing baseball since he was a little bitty guy. Taylor was playing high school ball in Plano, and a baseball coach told him he needed to get bigger. And in Taylor’s case, he followed the lead of half of the boys on the baseball team and began injecting himself with anabolic steroids,” Hooton told NewsFix.
He added, “Where we really noticed it was with explosive changes of personality. Taylor, a pitcher in high school, on two separate occasions drove his pitching fist through a sheetrock wall.”
Seven months after Taylor started using steroids, he killed himself.
“I was at work, and I was on a conference call. My daughter, Mackenzie called— Taylor’s older sister— she was coming over and was going to pick up some sandwiches and asked Taylor’s mom, 'I’m going to get pick up a sandwich, what kind can I pick up?' My wife hollered upstairs for Taylor and there was no answer.So she went up stairs and found him hanging on the bedroom door," said Hooton.
After Taylor’s death, Don and his family felt they had to do something.
“We were standing at the wake, at the funeral home the night before we buried him. I still remember standing on the porch with my Sunday school director and commenting to him that nobody knows that this is going on! How did we just lose a kid? By that point, the kids that already told us how many of Taylor's friends had been using things like anabolic steroids. And I said, 'Somebody’s got to speak up!'"
Don started the Taylor Hooton Foundation to warn kids about the dangers of steroids.
“Most people have no idea their children took this path and are left completely hopeless as to trying to understand why and wind up blaming themselves," Hooton said. "At least we know what happened to Taylor and, hopefully, do something about preventing others from going down that same path.”