(Steroids). Sterility in both sexes has been documented (Kowalski 13). Acne has also been noted (“Anabolic Steroids”). While these negative side effects can be horrid and temporary, the use of performance enhancing drugs can also result in long term harm.
Long-term side effects are very serious in when it comes to performance enhancing drugs. Although the long-term effects of these drugs have not been researched in great lengths, there is some evidence that they can be substantial (Reinberg). A condition called steroid rage, while rare, can occur. This condition is described as sudden, explosive outbursts because of these medications (Rudy 110). Other psychiatric problems, such as paranoid jealousy and delusions, and extreme mood swings can lead to violence. Abusers often consider themselves to be invincible and, because of this impaired judgment, cause physical harm to themselves (“Steroids”). Depression can occur when one is off steroids. Steroid use can also cause depression and the risk of addiction is possible, as people believe they need the aid of drugs to enhance their looks or athletic abilities, resulting in a dependence on these drugs (Kowalski 13).
Some athletes not only experience short and long-term medical ailments as a result of their use of performance enhancing drugs, but they end up paying the ultimate price for their use. Taylor Hooten, whose father, Don, founded his aforementioned namesake foundation, died after taking steroids in an attempt to be a better high school baseball player (“Digital Citizens Alliance”). There is also a documented case where a twenty-eight year old body builder died from using steroids. The doctors feel that the young man ignored symptoms of cardiovascular disease related to his high protein diet. The elevated protein diet aids in muscle growth and the use of steroids causes an altered mental status (“Myocardial” 587).
Then there is the little known story of Oli Cooney, a twenty-year old body builder who began taking anabolic steroids and other figure enhancing supplements at a young age. When he was sixteen, he began to lift weights to change his body image. At eighteen, he was five feet, two inches, and decided to accelerate the change occurring in his body by using steroids. This eventually led to him having irreversible heart damage. He eventually suffered two heart attacks and three strokes. He was told by his physicians to stop the intense work outs but these warnings were ignored. He died last year from abusing anabolic steroids. His mother, Sarah, stated, “Oli was driven by a passion for bodybuilding and, unfortunately, it was that passion that took his life. We would not want anyone to go through the hell we have been through. We will never move on from this” (“Parents”).
Despite the many health risks associated with consumption of performance-enhancing drugs, some athletes will ignore the risks to their own person in favor of the potential rewards. However, steroids,...