Teenage Use Of Anabolic Steroids And The

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Teenage Use Of Anabolic Steroids And The Effects Essay, Research Paper Anabolic steroids are the quickest known way for male athletes to improve their bodies and excel in sports, but not necessarily the safest. The Encyclopedia of Drugs and Alcohol defines anabolic steroids as “the synthetic versions of the naturally occurring male sex hormone testosterone; they are properly called anabolic-androgen steroids because they have both body building (anabolic) and masculinizing (androgenic) effects.” Anabolic steroids have been around for many years, dating back to the 1930’s, where they were primarily used to treat hypogonadism, a condition in which the testicles do not produce enough testosterone for normal growth, development, and sexual functioning. Shortly after their

discovery, people began abusing them. In World War II for example, German troops were given anabolic steroids to improve muscle strength as well as increasing aggressiveness to fight at war (Wadler and Hainline). The first abuse of steroids in sports did not occur until the 1950’s, when Russian athletes began taking steroids to increase weight and strength. The Russians use of anabolic steroids led to the development of anabolic steroids in the United States. Steroids have come a long way since then. They now serve an important role in assisting patients with many medical conditions. They are often given to patients with abnormally low amounts of testosterone, such as delayed puberty and some types of impotence, as well as treating people with AIDS and other diseases that waste

away their bodies (NIDA). In the United States anabolic steroids are available legally, but they require a prescription. Too frequently teenage male athletes use anabolic steroids to improve their bodies for certain sports, however they completely disregard the obvious short term and long term effects that are associated with the steroids. From past high school experiences I have seen the effects of steroids first hand. All of the male athletes that used steroids only had one reason to take them, which was to get an advantage over their opponents, whether they were playing on the football team, track team, or baseball team, the students that abused steroids were simple to pick out of a crowd. Very often they would have needle marks on their bodies from injections, as well as

gaining a huge amount of muscle mass in a short period of time. Along with the increased body size whey would get severe cases of acne and their personality would change extensively. The National Institute of Drug Abuse estimates that 500,000 young Americans are taking steroids every year. The number of sophomore boys taking steroids increased from 2% to 2.7% last year and since 1991 the number of sophomores that use steroids has increased 50%. (Healtheon/WebMD). The side effects that are associated with steroids clearly outweigh the benefits. For example, In the late 1970’s and mid 80’s, Lyle Alzado was one of the top players in the National Football League. He had a huge, muscular body that struck fear into every opponent, and upon his retirement in 1986 he was noted as one

of the best linebackers ever. In 1991, he reappeared in the news, not for his great accomplishments in the NFL, but rather to admit to using anabolic steroids throughout his entire career. Not only did he ignore his doctor’s warnings urging him to stop using steroids early in his career, but he continued using them after his retirement. Alzado exposed that he had beaten his wife due to steroid-induced rages, and he also spoke about how his lifetime use of steroids brought upon fatal brain cancer. He spent the final months of his life speaking out about the dangers of anabolic steroids (Lovitch). There are many other adverse effects of anabolic steroids besides the brain cancer that Alzado suffered from. Alan Leshner,director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse, claims,