Steroids, what they are why people use them
Mohammed Ghatala
SEC # 3
03-21-00

What are anabolic steroids? Anabolic steroids are a group molecules that include the male sex hormone testosterone and synthetic analogs of testosterone (Taylor,1991) Anabolic steroids are used by many people in sports today due to the rapid increase in muscle mass. Anabolic steroids are made synthetically and are very powerful. Recent evidence suggests that there may be over 3,000,000 regular anabolic steroid users in the United States and most of these users buy there steroids illegally (Taylor,1991) I am interested in finding out more about steroids and its effects.

Steroids are used in veterinary medicine. They are used in meat production, to increase muscle in cattle which produces lean beef, and they are given to show horses, racehorses, and race dogs to increase their muscle mass. People today are abusing the use of anabolic steroids. Though intended for people who have just had surgery or may be sick to get them strong, healthy people, mainly athletes, who simply want to promote muscle growth, often use the drug. On the streets steroids are known as “juice” or “roids”. The history of steroid use dates back to the late 1930s. Steroids were first developed in World War 2, the German army reportedly gave anabolic steroids to their soldiers to make them more aggressive in war. After the war, doctors in Europe and the United States frequently used steroids to treat anemia – a blood disorder – and malnutrition, and helped recover more quickly from operations. By the late 1940s, bodybuilders in Eastern Europe were taking testosterone in various forms. In the 1950s, athletes used anabolic steroids to improve their performance in international competition. In 1956, American doctor John B. Zieglar worked with a drug company to produce anabolic steroids in the United States. Professional athletes particularly football players began using anabolic steroids as early as the 1960s. The health dangers of anabolic steroids were not yet recognized, and athletes obtained steroids from team doctors.
When state laws were passed against steroids in the 1960s a black market or illegal trade began for steroids. Steroids eventually found their way into school level athletic programs at both college and high school levels.
Most steroid users are not thinking about whether they might be harming their body or not. There are many health consequences of steroid use. There is liver toxicity, infertility, heart disease, and Prostate problems just to name a few. Some physical and side effects of steroid use are things like hair loss, nose bleeds, acne, high blood pressure. Long lasting side effects are things like higher tolerance for pain increased or lowered sex drive, sterility, impotence, increased appetite, and insomnia. In male users anabolic steroids can cause the penis to enlarge and the testicles to shrink (Yesalis, et al.,1998)
The permanent irreversible physical side effects of steroid use are much more serious. Anabolic steroids can increase the levels of fat in the blood; users are at risk of heart attacks and other heart problems. Steroids can cause kidney disease, Jaundice, Peliosis Hepatis, and liver Tumors. But steroids that build those muscles can lead to lowered self-esteem, depression, and inability to think clearly, and lack of energy. Medical researchers are also looking at the connection between testosterone and the increase hostility and the potential for violence at high levels. Recently, data from a nationwide study confirmed prior studies and demonstrated a strong association between anabolic steroid use and self-acknowledged acts of violence against people and crimes against property (Yesalis et al., 1998)
The health risks that go along with the use of steroids may stop some people from using them. They are also illegal in the United States without a prescription. Penalties for steroid use can resolve in fines or imprisonment. There are even penalties for doctors who give anabolic steroids to athletes solely to improve their athletic skill. Until the late 1980s, doctors were the primary source of the drugs for more than a third of the users in the United States. Today, less then 10 percent of steroid users obtain their drugs by prescription (Taylor,1982) Which caused the need for drug testing for athletes.

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Drug testing has spread through all different sports from baseball to football. Like all substances taken into the body, anabolic steroids are broken down and changed in the body. This process makes it difficult to find anabolic steroids in the original form. There for when drug test are given for sporting events the drug tester looks for metabolites. The distinctive patters that are formed in these metabolites are like fingerprints in that they are unique and can be matched with the known metabolic signature pattern. Each IOC-accredited laboratory maintains an extensive library of these metabolite patterns (Goldman, 1955) The history of drug testing all started in the Olympic Winter Games in 1968. Accurate testing didn’t start until the Summer Olympic Games of 1976.
Steroids are not instant muscles. Just because you take steroids does not mean that you will increase in muscle size. There are more effective ways of increasing you physique and keep from harming your body. Steroids are to be used only in the medical field for helping patients who need the help. People who are using steroids should be more aware of what is going to happen to their body in the long term.


References
Goldman B. Et,al., (1984) Death in the Locker room, Icarus Press South Blend, Indiana p76
Taylor W. (1982). Anabolic Steroids and the Athlete, McFarland ; Company, Inc., Publishers p3
Taylor W. (1991). Macho Medicine, McFarland ; Company, Inc., Publishers p1,78
Yesalis C. Et, al., (1998) The Steroids Game, Cowart and Associates p31,53,58
Science

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Why do so many people use steroids when there are so many health risks and side affects? Do people take steroids because they are not aware of all the risks? Not likely, steroids have been around since the 1930’s when Nazi scientists tried to invent drugs that would make German armies more powerful (Banks, Substance Abuse in Sport: The Realities, pg. 13-21). Though steroids were considered harmful and made illegal in 1991 (Berlow, Sports Ethics). Some side affects of steroids are baldness, high blood pressure, lowered sex drive, acne, nosebleeds, liver disease, kidney disease, and many more (Williams, Drugs and Athletic Performance, pg. 88-90). It may sound ridiculous and idiotic, to those who use steroids, with all the risks involved, but the temptation and pressures in using them are sometimes unbearable. In today’s society there are many pressures to be the best athlete and to look a certain way. Nobody wants to take second place, or look scrawny and wimpy. People want to be the winner and want others to turn their heads to look at them when they walk into a room. The fastest and easiest way to do that is to take steroids. People take steroids to be bigger and better at sports and also improve physical appearance.

In today’s athletics, athletes are getting bigger, stronger, and faster. Whether an athlete plays high school or professional sports, it is getting harder for athletes to compete at a high level with all the competition. When an athlete is not good enough to make the team or is on a team and does not play much the athlete will do just about anything to improve themselves. Many athletes spend numerous hours practicing and lifting weights trying to get better at their sport, and still they lack what it takes to make the team or be the best. Steroids are the solution to their problems and a way to make their dreams come true. If you were offered the opportunity to lose body fat, get stronger, add more muscle within six weeks and have more motivation to work out more consistently then you do now, would not you try it? Sure it is illegal and it is unfair for all the other athletes who do it the hard way, but most do not care. Many young men are taking steroids at a young age. Reports from the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission issued a report that steroid use increased 2.6 percent from 1997 to 1999. Also, a report from the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research shows an increase of 2.4 to 3.1 for boys in twelfth grade between 1991 to1999 (Banks, Substance Abuse in Sport: The Realities, pg. 25-27).
From personal experience, a football player I knew said “I decided I was going to take steroids to get big and strong and aggressive. I didn’t care if I died, as long as I completed the season-just as long as I finished like a man.” This football player was so dedicated to being the best that he could be. He did not even care if he lost his own life. In recent years sports have become a huge industry. Just this year Alex Rodreguez signed a ten year two hundred and fifty million dollar contract with the Texas Rangers. This is the biggest contract in sports history. A gold medal in the Olympics can mean millions of dollars to athletes, coaches, managers, sponsors, and even countries. It is no wonder more and more people are striving to be the best, and will do whatever it takes to get there. When it comes to making money and a lot of it people will do just about anything.

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As for physical appearance almost everyone is self-conscience about how they look. For example, he turns to the mirror to stare at his reflection, pushing up the sleeves to the baggy sweater he wears to hide his body. Flexing his muscles, he lets out a sigh of dissatisfaction and disgust at the body he hates, longing to look like the bodybuilders he admires. Steroids are enormously popular not only on the sports track, but also in the world of workout gyms and fitness buffs. Most people would like

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