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Steroids in Sports

By jesse1523 May 07, 2015 1096 Words
The Negative Effect of Steroids in Sports

There was a time when athletes were special with just their gifted talents and ability to work hard. Those who took advantage of their gifts went to the professional leagues and even became one of the best in their sports. After the late 1980s though, something happened, there was the evolution of steroid use in sports. With athletes beginning to use steroids it didn’t matter any more if you were naturally gifted or not because you had substances to give you the edge compared to other athletes. Now days anyone with a good connection to steroids and good advice on how to take it, has an opportunity to increase their physical performance on a higher level. As much as steroids help athletes have an unfair advantage over others, it also contains many side effects, which can negatively affect athletes in the long term. Many athletes who decide to take steroids don’t realize the side effects they can possibly deal with. They usually don’t care though because they would rather take the risk of trying to reach the professionals where they can possibly make millions of dollars and reach stardom. The most common type of steroid used by athletes are anabolic-androgenic steroids. Steroid Abuse in Today's Society, a March 2004 publication of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) Office of Diversion Control, defines anabolic steroids as "synthetically produced variants of the naturally occurring male hormone testosterone"(Robert Jacobson, 2006). There are many unfair advantages users have over those who don’t take steroids. They help enhance physical performance by increasing muscle size and strength and help train faster in less time. It is also known to increase an athlete’s agility and speed. The drug also helps users recover a lot quicker, which in terms means the athlete can get back to training a lot sooner than normal. All of this means that a user can get more gains by putting in less work, compared to training without the usage of steroids. Overall anabolic-androgenic steroids have three mechanisms of action when consumed in our bodies; they help metabolize proteins, speed up the synthesis of skeletal muscle tissue, and provide a “rush” that enables an athlete to train harder and longer by temporarily masking fatigue (Adams and Alic, 2011). While all these benefits of taking steroids are great, the side effects of taking them are even worse. First off, steroids have negative effects on the liver and can affect it in many ways with pill form being more toxic than injectable forms of the drug. They cause the liver to release extra amounts of enzymes into the bloodstream and release bilirubin, a substance that in high volumes can cause the whites of the eyes and skin to turn yellow, which is a condition called jaundice and if untreated the liver may develop tumors (Ricki Lewis, 2002). A second big side effect of steroids is the impact on the heart. They can cause the decrease of good cholesterol in the body that in turn could lead to heart attacks. Studies have shown that anabolic steroids can cause small increases in blood pressure, also a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes (Rosalyn Carson-DeWitt, 2003). The third problem with usage of steroids is sexual side effects. They alter hormone levels that are sex related, resulting in abnormal effects. In males it causes testicles to shrink and in females causes deepening of the voice and enlargement of the clitoris. The last big problem with consumption of steroids is psychological effects; it could totally change you into a different person in a negative way. These drugs increase thoughts and feelings for aggressiveness also known as “roid rage”. Mood swings can possibly begin to occur, users commonly report that they feel energetic, confident, and even euphoric during a cycle of use and in return have decreased need for sleep or find it difficult to sleep because of their high energy level (Rosalyn Carson-DeWitt, 2003). Between cycles of use such feeling may give way to feeling irritable, down, depressed, and tired. These are just the big side effects of steroids; there are other problems that can occur with the body while on a cycle or once done with one that could negatively affect a person in the long run. If only athletes knew before hand what they were signing up for there could be less of them taking anabolic steroids. The majority of the athletes who take steroids are usually teenagers. These drugs get abused because people (teenagers in particular) don’t know or understand how steroids work. Athletes with potential usually have so much going on their mind, having pressure from family, friends, and the team, to lead them. Then there is the thought of wanting to impress scouts to get chances of receiving scholarships for a full ride to play in college and then reach the professional leagues. After all this going through an athletes head, one question comes in mind, how can I enhance my physical abilities faster and perform better? The thought of taking steroids is usually what comes in mind. At that time it seems like all the possible positive outcomes overshadow the negative ones. At the same time athletes usually don’t know all the risks in detail and nor do sellers ever mention them because they just simply want to make money. If athletes, especially teenagers knew that if they were to take steroids they would suffer many side effects and that the benefits would only last for a certain time frame until you kept doing another cycle again and again to maintain those physical enhancements, chances are not as many athletes would take the decision of consuming anabolic steroids. The only time someone should ever try to take steroids is if prescribed by a physician. Taking this performance enhancement drug is not as simple as many believe; you have to look at the big picture of not only the pros but cons as well. Anabolic steroids can be very toxic to the heart, liver, sexual organs, and psychologically. Yes you can train harder, increase muscle mass, become faster, recover quicker, and have more self confidence by taking anabolic steroids, but is it worth it after knowing the side effects? Chances are you could possibly be remembered as that person getting caught taking steroids, or even the person who lost their career or life because of it. For those thinking about taking anabolic steroids they should ask themselves after weighing both pros and cons, is it really worth the risk?

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