It is super important to understand this topic and to prevent steroid abuse in sports. Steroid use in sports is a concern for coaches, managers, parents, and peers of athletes, as well as the athletes themselves. There are accurate medical uses for steroids. However, I am specifically speaking about the ways they are abused by athletes.
Although steroids can level up someone’s ability to perform, they absolutely do have side effects. From these different side effects athletes can face complications with dependence and even addiction.
Simply put, athletes who abuse steroids are heading down a felonious and broken path. While steroids might provide an unfair advantage and short-term performance boost that many consider to be cheating. Those who take them also set themselves up for failure in more ways than one.
So what is the most popular drug used to enhance athletes performance, and what exactly are steroids? Steroids are synthetic drugs that imitate hormones that our bodies have the ability to naturally produce as part of growing or even in response to stress. Anabolic steroids are the main kind that is most used and abused by athletes.
What anabolic steroids do is emulate the male sex hormones. The actual term ‘anabolic’ is pointing to the process of building muscle tissue and ‘androgenic’ means male sex characteristics-- the overall proper term for these steroids is ‘anabolic-androgenic steroids.’ While most people usually think of anabolic steroids when this topic is brought up, there are also other performance-enhancing drugs that people refer to as steroids.
Now, you might be thinking what are the bad effects that come from this? I mean one can understandably think, this is just to enhance my performance and make me an overall better athlete who is stronger.
It makes sense to me for someone to initially consider this perspective, which is why I want to dive a little deeper into these symptoms real quick.
Other than this being completely illegal, some of the side effects one may experience are any of the following: an increase in acne, for men: breast growth, shrunken testicles, decrease in sperm count, increased risk of prostate cancer. For women: deeper voice, shrunken breasts, facial hair growth, male-pattern baldness. For adolescents: stunted growth.
For anyone having hypertension, heart complications, changes in cholesterol levels, increased risk of heart attack and stroke, an increased risk of liver disease and liver cancer, kidney damage, an increase in aggression, depression, and suicidal ideation.
To me just one thing off of this list is a huge no-go and in the long run can actually ruin a person’s athletic abilities or worse overall life itself.