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Anabolic Steroids

Essay by   •  December 8, 2010  •  Essay  •  1,615 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,633 Views

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The numbers are staggering; in the United States 1 to 3 million people currently use or have used anabolic steroids. These dangerous drugs are not only a controversial issue in Olympic and professional sports, but recent reports show that adolescent teens use these drugs. The image of the lean and muscular "alpha male" has been a huge factor in provoking steroid use among non-athletes. Steroids were used as early as World War II by German troops to raise their aggression level in battle. Anabolic steroids are synthetic androgens (male sex hormones) that promote the growth of skeletal muscle. Using performance comes with endless list of severe side effects. Although anabolic steroids provide easy path to "get ripped quickly", they leave users dealing with many dangerous and potentially life-threatening side effects.

Steroid users believe there are many physical and emotional gains that come with taking these drugs. Some state that a great deal users do not research the drug before they take it, which contributes to some of the severe side effects reported. Some users state that there are certain emotional side effects that benefit you from putting on a large gain of muscle. Remy, a steroid user, claims, "you get a general sense of well being because you feel more confident" (Campbell A1). He says on steroids he feels calm instead of aggressive. Another bodybuilding expert named Ryan Ward suggests that if you weight steroids with the effects of other drugs, the "effects [are] much less severe". In most cases steroids are not as nearly as addictive as street drugs such as "cocaine and heroin or even other behaviors such as smoking and drinking" (Ward). Although users claim that the

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stress on dangerous side effects is overrated; a recent study on shows otherwise. Lab mice were "exposed to steroid doses for one-fifth of their life time" experienced a slowing down effect and a "premature death" (Anabolic Steroid Abuse). This study gives proper evidence that steroid abuse can lead to serious side effects including premature death. Along with beneficial emotional side effects, steroid fanatics also elaborate on the overwhelming physical gains such as recovery time and athletic performance. Certain steroids can help strengthen the immune system, "making it easier to recover and ward off viral illnesses" (Steroid Truth). This effect can help athletes recover from injury and illness quicker that the average person. Some athletes that use steroids claim it helps "water and electrolyte storage in the muscles, which results in the swelling of the tissue" (Steroid Truth). This benefits the endurance of an athlete by allowing the muscles access to more "fuel" which is a combination of water and certain electrolytes. So why do users juggle they're few benefits with hundreds of damaging and irreversible side effects? There are other safe supplements "than enhance performance but do not violate the rules of professional or college sports" (Farrey C1). Ask any user why so many severe side effects pop-up from the use of steroids and they will say that it's the people taking the drug, not the drug itself. Remy blames it on the people who get severe side effects because they "use steroids continuously instead of cycling of and off of them" (Campbell A1). He also blames it on the "lack of education"; stating that most people don't think twice and do the research before going on their first steroid cycle (Campbell A1). According to Remy anti-doping advocates exaggerate the steroid side effects because they arise them people take them that do know what they are doing. Though even with

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the proper use steroids do carry side effects. Steroids contain synthetic testosterone, which "diffuses across the muscle cell membrane and blinds natural testosterone"

(Ormsby 60). With natural testosterone blinded, the hormones are affected causing physical changes such as testicle shrinkage and breast development in males.

The use of steroids has been linked to many emotional side effects, including depression, which can lead to suicide. One of the main emotional side effects is muscular dysmorphia, which is when one feels that their body is never toned and large enough. Men that are affected by this condition feel "that they look small and weak, even if they are large and muscular" (Anabolic Steroid Abuse). One of the causes of steroid addiction is muscular dysmorphia, because they feel they have to get bigger and bigger to satisfy the public. One cause of muscular dysmorphia is past sexual abuse or just abuse, in which one tries "to increase their muscle size to protect themselves" (Anabolic Steroid Abuse). This allows one feel comfortable because by building a sense of security that shields themselves from past experiences. Depression is the most commonly linked side effect with steroid use. Mostly because of stories on the news about steroid use, and depression that eventually leads to suicide. Especially people who are addicted to steroids "have a high risk of developing depression" (Sharma 89). Depression is considered one of the most dangerous side effects because it can lead to suicide. The symptoms of depression can be increasingly great for teens using the drug because they are "going though puberty and are already at a high risk for developing depression" (Ormsby 60).

Aggression, also know as "roid rage", is prominent among steroid users. Studies have indicated that "anabolic steroids, particularly in high doses, increase irritability and

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aggression" (Anabolic Steroid Abuse). Other steroid abuses have even gone as far as committing "property crimes, such as stealing [and] damaging or destroying others'

property" (Anabolic Steroid Abuse). Steroids have not only been linked to emotional side effects but they have also been a known source of prominent and unusual physical changes. Since steroids are synthetic hormones they can cause unusual hormonal changes. The use of steroids has been known to cause "reduced sperm production and [the] shrinking of the testicles"

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