It’s not hard to believe that a drug used by professional athletes in order to make them bigger, faster and stronger has filtered its way down to our youth. The use of anabolic steroids by professional athletes has created an epidemic within our high schools and colleges. Student athletes trying to get that extra edge are turning to the use of anabolic steroids at an alarming rate. Unfortunately, often with tragic results.
The problem is very simple…steroids work. You don’t need to look very far in the world of professional sports to see an athlete that has all the signs of using steroids. They have become much bigger in size and strength. They are competing at a level that they never used to. Others in the sport are not competing at that same level. But, at what cost?
What You Need To Know
Anabolic steroid use can lead to psychological and physical dependence. Dependence can make it hard for people to get off of anabolic steroids even though they may be suffering from some of the negative side effects of the drug. Some of the side effects associated with steroids can be very serious. Medical research has proven that side effects do exist but they cannot duplicate the levels athletes use because to do so would be dangerous and illegal.
Professional athletes generally get steroids from a trainer or doctor in a very controlled environment. The rest of society must trust the integrity of the substance from the word of a dealer who quite often is buying the substance from a third world country or “lab” in someone’s garage. No one knows for sure who will be negatively affected by the use of these drugs but what we do know is that those affected are changed forever. Here are some facts you might not know:
What You Can See
Here are some of the physical signs associated with the use of steroids:
- Development of breasts
- Growth of facial hair
- Deepened voice
- Breast reduction
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin)
- Swelling of feet or ankles
- Bad breath
- Mood swings
What You Can’t See
Steroids affect your heart. Steroid use has been associated with cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and strokes. These heart problems can even happen to athletes under the age of 30.
Steroids affect your appearance. In both sexes, steroids can cause male pattern baldness, cysts, acne, and oily hair and skin.
Steroids affect your mood. Steroids can make you angry and hostile for no reason. There are recorded cases of murder attributed to intense anger from steroid use.
Steroids increase your risk of infection. Sharing needles or using dirty needles to inject steroids puts you at risk for disease such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.
Steroids can cost you your life. As with Efrain and others, the emptiness and depression caused by the use of steroids can create a world of despair so great that the only option you feel you have is take your own life.
No league championship, banner in the gym or college scholarship is worth this. If you are thinking about using steroids consider this, once you stop using this drug your body reverts back to the way it was before you started. Muscle mass is gone, added strength is gone and whatever competitive edge you think you had is gone. All that is left is the damage to your body. Steroids give you a short-term false advantage with long term, permanent, negative affects. Work hard, in fact, work very hard to be the very best you can be. You were made to be special and using steroids could take all of that away.