Adolescent use of HGH is on the rise the latest research shows that adolescent use of synthetic human growth hormone increased by 120 percent from 2012 to 2013. The study involved 3,705 ninth - to 12th-graders and 750 parents. Eleven percent of teens reported using artificial human growth hormone at least once without a prescription -- up from five percent in 2012. The study found no significant gender difference - 12 percent of boys used synthetic HGH and 9 percent of girls did. Synthetic HGH has medical applications because it stimulates growth and cell production and is used to fight muscle degeneration caused by HIV and pituitary tumors. However, illegal use of HGH can improve athletic performance and appearance, similar to anabolic steroids. Data show a strong correlation between synthetic HGH and steroid use. One in five teens has at least one friend who USES steroids, and the same number say steroids are easily available. These new figures suggest that today's teenagers are experiencing a disturbing development. Teens are looking for and using performance-enhancing substances, such as synthetic HGH and supplements that are said to contain HGH, in hopes of improving their performance or appearance without knowing what they are taking. These supplements may be used as a reason for increased use as they contain synthetic HGH or promote natural production of HGH. Although prescription and over-the-counter drugs must be tested, supplements are not regulated by the food and drug administration.