The Use of Anabolic Steroids in Society Today
The use of steroids in our society today is very common, that is with prescription. But that is not the kind of steroids I am talking about, I am talking about Anabolic Steroids. Anabolic steroids are a very sensitive issue in the world of sports today. Even though the side effects are life threatening, men and woman alike continue to submit their bodies to this illegal drug. Anabolic steroids are taken either through pills or injected directly into the blood stream with a needle. In 1994, 1,084,000 Americans, or 0.5 percent of the adult population, said that they had use anabolic steroids, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. Under Federal Law it is illegal to possess or distribute anabolic steroids for nonmedical uses. However, heavy demand has generated a black market with estimated sales of up to $400 million a year, according to a NIDA Research Report, Anabolic Steroids: A Threat to Body and Mind (NIDA July/August1997).
Anabolic steroids are drugs derived from the male hormone testosterone. They promote muscle growth and increase lean body mass. Although anabolic steroids have many approved medical uses, some athletes and others seeking to improve performance and physical appearance abuse them. These nonmedical uses are illegal and carry many health hazards. There are many signs that one can look for in a person who is suspected of using Anabolic Steroids. There is dramatic gain in weight and muscle mass over a short period of time (NIDA September1997). Another is severe acne. Others could be water retention, baldness or hair loss, even in the worst cases severe and sometimes violent mood swings and aggressive behavior (Dr. Allen Mask p.1)
A person can choose one of two ways when taking Anabolic Steroids. There is orally or injected. Most athletes and other abusers take them typically in cycles of weeks or months, rather than continuously, in patterns called cycling. Cycling involves taking multiple doses of steroids over a specific period of time, stopping for a period, and starting again. In addition, users frequently combine several different types of steroids to maximize their effectiveness while minimizing negative effects, a process known as stacking (NIDA July/August 1997).
A lot of people associate steroids with body builders. I made the same assumption that is until I researched this paper. In the 18-34 age group, about 1 percent had ever used steroids, for ages 35 and older, that figure went down to .2 percent. More men than women had used the drugs: 0.9 percent of men and 0.2 percent of women said they had ever taken steroids. NIDA’s Monitoring the Future study has tracked anabolic steroid use among middle school and high school students in the United States since 1989. From 1989 to 1996, there was a slight, gradual decline in the number of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders who...