Steroid use and abuse is back in the news again with the recent release of the Mitchell Report, the result of a 20 month investigation into performance-enhancing drug use amongst professional baseball players. Disturbing but apparently not all that surprising news.
I guess, in a way, it’s kind of understandable why anabolic steroid use is so prevalent in the professional sports arena. And, let’s face it, they are all adults and in theory know what they are doing and what the risks are. But you have to wonder if they understand the full extent of what they are doing to their body and health.
Yes, performance-enhancing steroids can give you bigger biceps, triceps, and pecs. But in using them, you also get a whole lot more than you bargained for.
1. They cause serious health problems. Continual steroid use can cause liver tumors, heart disease, and a weaken immune system leading to internal bleeding, heart attacks, strokes, and viral infections.
2. They cause hormone imbalance, especially in teens who already have enough hormone imbalance going on to last a lifetime. Anabolic steroids will simply confuse the issue. Boys can end up with shrunken testicles, reduced sperm count, and breasts. Girls can become more masculine, with deeper voices, reduced breasts, and excessive body hair, including beards. Plus, steroids can stunt the growth spurt, resulting in staying short for life.
Let’s face it, getting through High School is difficult enough without having gender mix-up issues as well.
3. They are addictive. Steroid use can result in having to maintain an expensive drug habit. And withdrawal will hurt as users have to deal with mood swings, fatigue, loss of appetite, insomnia, restlessness, and steroid cravings. Many will also suffer depression (often for years following withdrawal) to such a degree that they might even decide that suicide is the only option.
4. They mess with your head. Initially, steriods can cause irritability and depression. Continual use can result in delusions and mania. And in the end, they can turn an otherwise meek and mild mannered person into a raging homicidal maniac, otherwise known as ‘roid rage’.
5. They are illegal. This doesn’t seem to bother users much. But here’s the facts. Anabolic steroids are classified as a controlled substance and as such, are only legally allowed to be sold by a pharmacist via a doctor’s prescription. If you obtain steroids any other way, you risk a jail sentence of up to five years.
And if all that doesn’t discourage you, then how about this…