It is amazing what athletes will do to achieve higher levels of performance and to sometimes get the extra edge on the competition. Most of the time people do not realize the long-term effects that result from the decisions they make early in life. This resembles the use of steroids in a person's life.
Steroids became an option to athletes in the Olympics and other major sporting events during the 1950's. But this use of steroids among athletes only became widely apparent when Canadian sprint runner Ben Johnson tested positive for steroid use after winning the gold medal for the one hundred-meter dash during the 1988 Olympics (Francis, 45). Now a skinny fifteen-year-old can just walk down to the local gym and find people who either sell or know how to get in contact with those who sell the drug that will make him envious of his friends. Steroids are an attractive drug. While steroids seem harmless to the unaware user, they can have a risky effect. Most of the time whether the users are new or experienced, they do not know the dangerous consequences steroids can have on their bodies and their minds. Though steroids cause a relatively insignificant number of deaths in our society, the banning of steroids is justified because steroids have a lot of side effects not known to the uninformed user.
Even though steroids are known as a somewhat dangerous substance, they are legal to have and to consume. There are those who have pointed out several cases where someone has died and an autopsy showed that the person was using steroids, but some professionals claim this does not mean that it is a deadly drug (97). Some advocates of steroids believe that steroids should be kept legal, because it is the decision of the user to take the drug, and that steroids are not causing a problem in society. Alcohol and cigarettes are consumed by millions of people, causing a lot of deteriorating effects on their bodies, but there has never been a ban on these items because of the dangers that they can cause. Why should steroids be different? Some people say that the wide spread use of steroids among athletes is forcing the young athletes to use steroids, even though it is against their standards. This is because they know they cannot compete at the level against their opponents who are using steroids to go to the next level of performance. A lot of people claim that this is how competition is supposed to be. Racecar drivers are out there every day, pushing themselves to the limit. They are taking that corner a little bit faster, putting themselves in danger just a little bit more. This is no different than the risk football players, wrestlers, and weight lifters take when they decide to use steroids to take them to the next level. They are the people who justify steroid abuse because of these reasons, claiming that their use in sports and other activities are just the added element that an athlete needs to boost their performance.
However, there has not yet been any definite medical research to prove that steroid abuse is linked to severe medical conditions (Cowart, 33). Only the warnings that come from users that are currently dealing with medical difficulties those most likely have been a result of steroid use. These people are living proof of the harmful effects of steroids. Cigarettes and alcohol are major contributors to thousands of deaths each year (47). A lot of people have family members or friends that are suffering from diseases and health conditions cause by smoking and drinking. Sometimes these can lead to an early grave, sometimes a very painful death. Some people will use these situations as a reason not to drink or smoke. A similar situation would be a young athlete watching their muscular idols suffering from medical problems caused by steroids. Some of these professionals will even admit to their former steroid abuse in hopes to persuade the thousands of young...