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Steroids Essay

2369 words - 9 pages

Steroids: The Gamble Of A Lifetime by Dan Delorenzo "After six months on the drug I had a real Jekyll and Hyde personality, and I was Hyde about 90 percent of the time.? -Aaron Henry, former steroid user In the world of sports today, anabolic/androgenic steroid use is a vast problem. Since its introduction into Russian weight-lifting, it has been expanding with no signs of stopping. It has spread into every major sport, with usage by every age and race. The use continues to grow, even with a lengthy list of serious health, legal, and ethical concerns. Because of our society's adoration of muscle, athletes put their athletic goals higher on their priority list than their long-term health. From Hulk Hogan to Arnold Schwarzenegger, our heroes all fit the superhuman mold. The government has tried various laws and programs to cut down on usage, but these programs have had little or no effect. It has become one of the biggest problems in organized sports, yet it does not receive a proportional amount of attention. Steroid use has become an epidemic, and something must be done to stop it.Anabolic/androgenic steroids are synthetic variants of the natural hormone testosterone (James 7). At its naturally produced levels, testosterone is very good. In males, it helps promote protein anabolism (building), stimulates production of sperm, and has metabolic effects on muscle, bone, and skin (Goldman 72). Anabolic steroids are used medically to treat types of anemia, some breast cancers, osteoporosis, endometriosis, and hereditary angioedema (NIDA 2). But anabolic steroids are often taken at 10 to 100 times the natural, physiological levels by athletes looking for an edge in training (Yesalis xxv).Steroids come in two basic forms: water-based and oil-based. The water-based are taken in pill form. The most common oral steroid, by far, is Dianabol or ?D-ball? (Yesalis 109). Its use is so widespread it has spawned the phrase Die young, die strong, ?Dianabol? (Schrof 4). The oil-based form is injected, usually into the hamstring or buttock, using large-gauge, reusable needles obtained on the black market (NIDA 7). Some users may share the needles needed to inject the steroids, and this may expose the users to the spread of AIDS. The only two oil-based steroids that are used in mass quantities are Deca-durabolin and Delatestryl (Yesalis 109).Because of the beneficial effects of steroid-use, many athletes are willing to risk their health. The name anabolic/androgenic steroids comes from the words anabolic, meaning growing or building, and androgenic, meaning masculinizing. Athletes take steroids because they significantly increase lean muscle mass, strength, and endurance by helping the body retain dietary protein (NIDA 3). At high levels of competition, everyone possesses God-given talent, so athletes look for that special ?edge.? They see steroids as that edge that will put them over the top and make them a champion. They are willing to achieve this goal by any...

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