Use of Steriods in Athletes

February 28, 2011
By , Reno, NV
To this day, athletes continue to use steroids. The reason for using anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) is to enhance athletic performance. Athletes overlook the negative impact these enhancers have on their bodies because they are too occupied by the positive results they observe. Next to being illegal, AAS are bad for the body and can do more harm than good; physiologically and psychologically.
A study conducted in 2005 showed 4% of high school students use illegal steroids nationwide. This averages about 660,000 students who admit to steroid use. Students ages 14-17 are susceptible to advertisements and peer pressure; more so than college students or professionals. Because high school is typically the determining factor for college scholarships and potential professional athletic opportunities, stakes are high. Students push themselves to the limit. The few who make it to the pros are pushed even father. They are the role models of sports and know that they have to perform to maintain their careers. When it comes to money and fame, athletes can be even more prompted to use steroids. These athletes are no longer role models when steroids become part of the picture and performance becomes artificial.
AAS are associated with estrogen, cortisol, progesterone, and testosterone. They are taken in a variety of ways including liquid, tablets, or injections. Athletes’ main reasons for using steroids are to gain muscle mass. This is possible by the increase of nitrogen in the body, causing productions of protein, thus yeiding in increased muscle. Training also becomes more effective. The user feels energized and happy. These reasons, plus a few others, help to attract potential users. But one must not ignore the negative effects that come with this seemingly perfect enhancer.
Heart related problems arise from the use of steroids. High blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart palpations, and raised cholesterol are just a few. AAS can inhibit natural hormone production. In males there can be lowered testosterone, decreased sperm count, and smaller testicles. Women can experience a deeper voice, facial hair, and other masculine characteristics. For both sexes, steroids lower defense against illness, and can even stop bone growth. Most importantly, steroids affect the brain. While building the body physically, users deteriorate mentally. Learning, memory, and mood are all affected by steroids. The intake of AAS causes significant personality change. Thus, steroids ultimately cause changes all throughout the body.
Some of these changes have been proved to be irreversible. Steroid users fail to realize how much harm they are doing to their bodies. They agree to use this illegal enhancement without educating themselves about side affects. Athletes use these drugs to help them to become physically “perfect”, but don’t understand the risks they take with the use of steroids. Is it really worth weakening the rest of the body in order to achieve optimal muscle mass?





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