The Dangers of Anabolic Steriods
by Jeremy Gross on Friday, December 5th, 2014
For years, steroids or any type of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) have been a constant threat to the validity of sports. Not only is the use of anabolic steroids considered to be cheating in almost all professional sports, but these drugs also pose a great threat to the health and safety of their victims. In a recent upperclassmen assembly at Milton Academy, a representative of the Taylor Hooton foundation spoke extensively on the subject. The speaker discussed the various dangers of steroid use, the forms in which they are available to users, the context in which they are used, and some of the often overlooked effects of PEDs.
Anabolic steroids are lipid based hormones which activate certain parts of the user’s DNA, resulting in a larger production of proteins by the body. Whether they are injected or taken orally, these hormones target any tissue in the body with the right receptors to receive it, causing many side effects including, but not limited to, high levels of testosterone in the body and increased hair growth as well as an increased mental state. When the body is supplied with testosterone and other growth hormones from outside sources, it stops producing these hormones on its own. This effect can stunt growth in adolescents and can cause many other effects depending on the person. The body eventually becomes dependent on the steroids, making it difficult for users to quit. Not only are anabolic steroids easy to access for everyone, but they have also been found to be laced into various types of protein and creatine powders that are not certified by NSF, an organization which certifies health product manufacturers, indicating that their products may contain banned substances.
In addition to your average Joe, bodybuilder, or high school/college athlete, professional athletes, most commonly baseball players, football players, and cyclists, also consume these banned substances. Some of the most popular athletes in the world including Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Marion Jones, and Lance Armstrong, and actors/models like Arnold Schwarzenegger have all been caught using banned substances. ESPN believes that “Anabolic steroids do not improve agility, skill, or cardiovascular capacity”. So why do these athletes find it so necessary to use PEDs? Many would argue that athletes use steroids because of the extreme competition and pressure at the professional level. It is not that any one sport is more demanding than the other; moreover, it seems like if others are using steroids to enhance their performance, these athletes feel joining them is their only way of keeping up. Some steroid users, like Arnold Schwarzenegger, stated that he has “no regrets” involving past steroid use. What many people don’t know is that steroids are deadly. According to washingtonpost.com, over 60 WWE wrestlers in the last generation have died before the age of 50, and in many cases never reached 40, due to the stresses of steroids on the heart.
Clearly, steroids are an often overlooked drug which have much larger repercussions than most people realize. If not properly informed, many athletes of all ages and levels could be harmed or even killed by these deadly drugs.
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