Football legend Dick Butkus promotes 'I Play Clean' campaign

Football legend Dick Butkus promotes 'I Play Clean' campaign

HONOLULU (HAWAIINEWSNOW) - Illegal steroid use is not just a problem with professional athletes. Half a million teens in the U.S. say they have used a performance-enhancing steroid. Who better to steer them in the right direction than the great Dick Butkus.

I Play Clean is a grassroots educational campaign operated by the Butkus Foundation, a non-profit organization created by sports legend Dick Butkus and his son Matt Butkus. Formed in 2007, the program's goal is to eliminate the use of illegal steroids among high school age teens by educating all high school students, parents, teachers and coaches about healthy performance alternatives to dangerous steroids. Butkus emphasizes eating well, training hard, and playing with attitude as smart alternatives to steroid use.

• Approximately 500,000 teens have reported using steroids

• 26 percent said they have heard about someone that has used steroids

• One-in-three say steroids are "easy to get"

• Guys aren't the only ones who take steroids

• The fastest growing segment of young steroid users are freshmen girls

• Common side effects of steroids include:

• Physical problems, such as enlarged male breasts, deep voices for females, and stunted growth

• Emotional problems, including roid rage and suicidal tendencies

• Health problems, such as liver damage, high blood pressure, urinary problems, heart disease, stroke and cancer.

• Sexual problems, including impotence, by disrupting natural hormone development

For more information or to sign the online pledge please visit