Steroids Essay, Research Paper
Win, win, win that’s what its all about. Being the best and wining at all cost, no matter what it takes. “In recent years, athletic competition has intensified to the point that increasing numbers of athletes are striving to upgrade their performances with the desire to be recognized as the “best”.
Because players want to play, coaches want to win, and spectators demand to be entertained, the game is no longer about dreams, discipline, and competing, it is about illusions, deception, and winning. And no price is too great to pay to win. Although many athletes reach their goals through traditional methods, significant numbers are including pharmacologic “shortcuts” in their training programs. Increasing numbers of athletes are now relying on anabolic steroids to enhance their strength, endurance, and performance, despite the knowledge of the potentially serious adverse consequences these agents can have.” Through this paper one will find a decisive background and history of anabolic steroids, from when they were first used in the sporting arena, to what they do, and who uses anabolic steroids and why. Second how anabolic steroids are harmful mentally through perceptions of feeling and looking good, to societies demand of winning at all cost. Third how this drug is extremely harmful physically and
the negative effects in both men and women along with the overall negative effects of steroid abuse. Last the reader will see how the use of anabolic steroids are an unfair advantage to those who use them for how it heightens athletic prowess and gave them an extra competitive edge.
Therefor misused anabolic steroids are very harmful to athletes, mentally, physically, and are an unfair advantage to the athletes who use them. In order to have a clear understanding of anabolic steroid abuse a brief history is in order. The first reported use of anabolic steroids in sports was in the 1940’s and 1950’s. When the Russian weightlifting team thanks, in part, to synthetic testosterone-walked off with a pile of medals at the 1952 Olympics, an American physician determined that U.S. competitors should have the same advantage. By the 1958 a U.S. pharmaceutical firm had developed anabolic steroids. Although the physician soon realized the drug had unwanted side effects, it was too late to halt its spread into the sports world. The first users of anabolic steroids were mainly bodybuilders, weightlifters, football players, and track and field athletes who relied heavily on bulk and strength. In the 1970’s and 80’s other sports sought the competitive edge that these steroid were thought to have and later the black market flourished for the illegal production of this harmful and even deadly drug. The assumptions of these users were that they heard it would make them more aggressive and also give them that extra power they need to win
or exceed. “Anabolic steroids enable athletes in certain sports to build up muscle tissue during training more quickly than in training without drugs.” (Tschirgi 1992). Clinical records have shown that the use of anabolic
steroids and rigorous physical training along with a high protein diet will enhance muscle growth. So in short anabolic steroids speeds up this process which in turn will help enhances muscle growth.
Today’s society hear the messages from all sides: Get in shape; be muscular. In ads and TV commercials, muscular people sell perfume, cars, weight and muscle gainers-even beer. The beautiful body is the accepted way of life. This is true for all areas ranging from junior high student to the professional arena. Adolescents are pressured by peers, cliques, and school groups to take steroids due to the attitude; now, “fast food, fast cars, fast everything” this attitude is now invading the health and fitness arena. Teens are trying to reach the goal quickly, but at what cost. And it is not just teens, this same mentality has been going on for years, all the way back to the first suspected high school use in 1950.( JAMA 1993). It was assumed that athletes playing football took these steroids to make them the invincible player, and today those same athletes are collage and professionals who are still using these very deadly drugs to stay on top, no matter what.
Professionals, more than collage and high school athletes, have been know to take this drug to give them a rage or rush of energy, that at their age they lack.(Anderson 1994). But what is the downside of using the drugs? Are there mental and physical consequences to this rage or rush of energy? The answers is emphatically yes, they are harmful to the mind and body. Mental harms For the most part, individuals use anabolic steroids to significantly improve appearance, performance, or both beyond what is expected from training alone. Also, individuals who use anabolic steroids appears to believe that higher doses and continued use result in greater gains.(Anderson 1994). Also studies have shown, when individuals discontinue using anabolic steroids, there size and strength diminish, often very dramatically. This outcome, as will as any psychological effects of use that serve to create a new body image, improved self-esteem, heightened libido and general euphoria is thought to motivate renewed use of anabolic steroids. The effects of anabolic steroid use on the mental health has shown a wide range of reactions to the use of this drug. These studies were shown in NIDA research report series, were it stated (NIDA 1996) the following: Scientist are just beginning to investigate the impact of anabolic steroids on
the mind and behavior. Many athletes report “feeling good” about themselves while on a steroids regimen. The downside, according to Harvard researchers, is wide mood swings ranging from periods of violent, even homicidal, episodes known as “roid rages” to bouts of depression when the drugs are stopped. The Harvard study also noted that anabolic steroids users may suffer from paranoid jealousy, extreme irritability, delusions,
and impaired judgement stemming from feelings of invincibility. (firstname.lastname@example.org) In addition, Bahrke (1993) studies were he interviewed 41 steroid abuser he found that his subjects came across similar episodes of manifested psychotic symptoms, “subthreshold” or equivocal psychotic symptoms, and reported manic episodes. These studies are inconclusive due to the unknown background of his subjects. Along with the
perceptions of psychological benefits and, effects of anabolic steroid use. Society to is in fault for coaches, trainers, and spectators’ demand the best athletes. This pushes the athletes to use anabolic steroids. There have been no true studies done on the pressure of coaches and trainers. But one could come to the conclusion that when a player is threatened to lose his or her position, if they do not get quicker or stronger, that these athletes sometimes see only one outlet and this is anabolic steroids. Being that a sport season is only so long, an athlete some times sees his or her only way to stay on top is by the use of muscle enhancers. The most know and most popular drug out on the market today that provides these results is the world known anabolic steroid. It is not just the mental effects that harm athletes. Anabolic steroids also have negative physical ramifications as well. Harmful physically effects of Anabolic steroids have a great effect on athletes. In the Merck Manual (1997) it states: The most characteristic sign of AS(anabolic steroids) abuse is dramatic and rapid change in the body bulk. If the patient is involved in a
weight-training regimen and eats a high-calorie, high-protein diet while taking AS, an increase in muscle bulk and strength is usually produced. Increases in energy level and libido (in men) are established (www.merck.com). Not only do these symptoms mentioned above but, also in males’ testicular shrinkage, reduced sperm count, infertility, baldness, and development of breast are a factor included in the use of anabolic steroids. The NIDA (1997) also states that, males who take doses of anabolic steroids typically experience changes in sexual characteristics. Although derived from a male sex hormone (testosterone), the drug can trigger a mechanism in the body that can actually shut sown the healthy functions of the male reproductive system. The NIDA also goes on to state possible side effects in males are “difficulty or pain in urinating, and enlarged prostate” (NIDA 1997). Although anabolic steroid abuse has been intensively studied by numerous physicians. Also that with a number of adverse and even fatal effects, the incandesces of serious effects thus far reported has been extremely low, and all of the effects have been demonstrated to be fully
reversible within several months after cessation of steroids. Women to have cretin side effects that are in some cases are irreversible. Bahrke (1995) states the following: In women, anabolic steroids have been associated with a number of adverse effects, some of which are not reversible upon discontinuation of steroid use. These include menstrual abnormalities, deepening of the voice, shrinkage of the breast, male-pattern baldness, and increase in sex drive, acne, body hair and clitoris size. In addition, women using steroids experience dramatically elevated testosterone levels and lowered levels of SHBG, follicle-stimulating hormone and thyroid-binding proteins. These and others mentioned in the Merck Manual (1997) reports that adverse side effects some potentially irreversible are alopecia, hirsutism, some atrophy of the vaginal mucosa, and increased aggressiveness and appetite. In women steroid abuse is a greater risk of long term effects, do to the simple fact that some of these harmful effects are irreversible and therefor are not worth the life long pain. Men and women both experience harmful side effects but both of these sexes are susceptible to other harmful ramifications of steroid abuse. Some of the main side effects of anabolic steroid abuse are trembling, severe acne, fluid retention, aching joints, high blood pressure, lower HDL cholesterol, jaundice, and liver tumors. Also, people who inject steroids with shared needles run the risk of contracting or transmitting hepatitis or HIV, the virus that causes AIDS (NIDA, 1997). In addition Kusma states there are over 500 negative effects from the use of anabolic steroids and some of which are life threatening. He goes on to tell of some other main side effect that is yellowing of the eyes due to liver malfunction, fever; cancer of the brain, kidney, pancreas, or prostate, and nose bleeds do to high blood pressure. Along with heart diseases from constant high metabolism, vomiting, sore tongue, purple or red spots on the body, and unpleasant breath odor. All of these effects are those that can be prevented by simply refraining from the use of steroids. By using steroids not only is one hurting themselves but also they are putting others at risk for diseases encountered from steroid use.
Now that one has a clear description of what harms anabolic steroid entitles physically. How is this drug unfair to the athletic world and what advantages dose one receive from this illegal drug. Unfair advantage to the athletes who use them not only are anabolic steroids dangerous they are also unfair to other athletes because anabolic steroids give the user a greater athletic powers and, a greater competitive edge. In 1975 the IOC, International Olympic Committee, banned the use of this drug for it gave athletes an unfair advantage to the competition not to mention it was known to be deadly. Anabolic steroids are unfair for many reasons. One being it builds muscle tissue quicker than a regular workout alone. As Yealis (1995) states: Although the vast majority of the athletic community accepts that anabolic steroids enhance exercise capacity and performance, the extent to which this occurs and the factors influencing such effects remain incompletely understood and documented. The physical aspect to the advantage of steroid use is that it is known to increases in muscle bulk, strength, and endurance (TCADA, 1997). Steroids have been called the “HE-MAN DRUG” (NIDA 1997), and also states athletes who use these drugs are cheating. They gain an unfair advantage over opponents and violate the ban on steroids imposed by most major sports organizations.
Athletes today look for anyway to get that competitive edge and they are willing to achieve this at any cost, even if it means using anabolic steroids.
This drug is very wide spread through out the sporting arena and today an average of 35% use anabolic steroids in the athletic arena, 43% of which come from the high school students (Greenway 1997). Not only dose it make your muscles bigger it also makes the user more aggressive than usual and this can be rather unfair in such sports as football, rugby, and soccer. This added aggressiveness is nachievable by the regular athlete, which in turn gives the user one more unfair advantage. So in short anabolic
steroids in some cases do improve your athletic prowess and dose give the user a greater competitive edge over the rest of the competition, but at what cost and is it really worth it.
In conclusion, each and everyone of us cares about our appearance and the way we feel about ourselves. From the way we wear our hair, the cloths we wear, right down to the cars we drive and the homes we live in, we want to be noticed. All of these things make us feel better about ourselves. We follow the latest fashions, styles and trends because we want to fit in and we want acceptance from our peers and society. We spend endless hours and countless numbers of dollars on all sorts of mircle products promising us all the ways to achive these goals, such as the mircle diet pill and weight loss plan.We are willing to do what ever it takes to fit in. Some people are never satified with the way they look, even those who use steroids and hve those muscular bodies will always want to be bigger, better and more. If we can not control our competive nature, self love, ego and vanity and if society, as a whole, doesn’t change the way it demands the rewards the “body beautiful”, and if people cannot learn to be th ebest they can be, physically as well as psyschologically, without performance enhanching drugs, there will always be the desire to achive the perfect body no matter what the physical or phychological cost.