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The Risks of Steroid Use

 

Sports fans are well aware of the presence of steroids in professional sports, but most fans are unaware of the long-term health effects associated with steroids or Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED).

Across America, children and young adults idolize professional athletes, and often worshiped with a fervor that is almost religious in nature. Ever since the birth of the Olympics in ancient Greece, athletes have been held in high regard by society. Young people often see them as successful “role-models” surrounded by popularity and prestige. Those who look up to star athletes are sometimes willing to emulate whatever they do, which is why they frequently paid handsomely to endorse products of all kinds. Athletes are by far the most commonly used spokespersons to advertise a product, because consumers are more likely to buy a certain product  if their favorite athlete uses it. These products vary tremendously, with athletes endorsing pharmaceuticals, toiletries, shoes, underwear, cars, pizza, beer and other items.

When people see a professional athlete they admire sipping Gatorade on the sidelines or driving somewhere in a Buick, they are more likely to think highly of that product and purchase it. That is precisely why professional athletes should not use drugs or behave badly. Because they are icons, and  fans of all ages are likely to condone or even emulate their behavior. When a professional athlete uses PEDs like steroids or Human Growth Hormone (HGH) to enhance his performance, he is doing much more than just cheating. He is not only harming his own body, but also leading others to do the same.

Like most drugs, steroids the user quickly but at the expense of their long-term  mental and physical health. The more commonly known, but less serious, side effects include impotence in men, breaking out with acne, balding and steroid-related anger problems known colloquially as “roid rage”. It has also been shown that PEDs may stunt growth when taken by adolescents.

Unfortunately, there are far more severe consequences for steroid users, including liver damage, heart damage and an increased risk of blood clots. Dr. Robert Truax, who specializes in sports medicine, says “The heart is a muscle…and the heart isn’t designed to have that much testosterone stimulating it.”

Another consequence of PED use may be “multiple drug abuse.” An athlete may use different types of drug additionally to attempt to counterbalance the side effects of PEDs, such as hormones and anti-depressants. They also may try to support the anabolic effects of PED’s with supplemental anabolic hormones, often without any medical supervision. For this reason, it is likely that these practices may lead to serious conditions.

Sadly, as was the case with MLB star Ryan Braun, the attraction of the immediate benefits of PEDs use often negates the risk of long-term health consequences in the minds of pro athletes.

 

 

Sources:

Kuipers, Harm, M.D. “ANABOLIC STEROIDS: Side Effects.” Sportsci.org. Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine and Science, 19 Apr. 1998. Web. 20 Aug. 2013.

Woerner, Amanda. “MLB Players’ Use of Performance Enhancing Drugs Comes with Serious Health Risks.” Foxnews.com. FOX News Network, 6 Aug. 2013. Web. 20 Aug. 2013.

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Written by

Kevin Giles is a product of Santa Cruz, CA – the stoner capitol of the world. A born again Christian, Kevin loves his Lord Jesus and believes that his purpose in life is determined by God. He first entered drug recovery at the age of 19, suffering from an addiction to marijuana. He is a recent graduate of the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, where he earned his Master’s degree in Christian Ministry. Passionate about God’s Word, he aspires to become a pastor or missionary. Kevin has also earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from California State University, Monterey Bay. His interests include traveling, movies, golf, fitness and reading. He also enjoys being outdoors as well as spending time with friends and family. Kevin’s faith, education and life experience give him a unique perspective on addiction, recovery and spirituality.

Filed under: Alcohol and Drugs, Featured, Recovery, Substance Abuse · Tags: athletes, consequences, health risks, HGH, PED, performance enhancing drugs, professional sports, risk, roid rage, roids, Sports Fans, star athletes, steroids

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